How to Hide Rows in Google Docs

by David Nield
Use the hide rows tool to temporarily hide parts of your spreadsheet.

Use the hide rows tool to temporarily hide parts of your spreadsheet.

The Google Docs online office suite is now part of Google Drive and includes a spreadsheet tool. This application, known as Sheets, includes many of the features you'll find in comparable desktop software, including the ability to hide rows from view. Rows can be unhidden at any time, enabling you to make part of your spreadsheet invisible on a temporary basis while you focus on other areas of it.

Hiding Rows

With the spreadsheet you wish to work with open in Google Drive, select the rows you want to hide, either by clicking on a single row or clicking and dragging across several rows using the numbered headings on the far left of the spreadsheet. Right-click on the selected row headings and choose "Hide rows" from the drop-down menu (the numbers of the rows you've selected are listed after the menu option). Once particular rows have been hidden, arrows appear next to the headings on either side of the hidden rows.

Unhiding Rows

By clicking the up or down arrow either side of the hidden rows you can make them reappear again. Alternatively, you can click and drag across the row headings either side of the hidden block, then right-click and choose "Unhide rows" from the drop-down menu. Note that changes made to your spreadsheets are automatically saved in Google Drive. Shut down the browser tab displaying your sheet and the hidden rows will still be hidden the next time you open up the file in your browser.

Using Hidden Rows

Hidden rows still have an impact on your spreadsheet. For example, if you have a formula adding up all the values in a column, hiding certain rows won't exclude these figures from the calculations. The only difference with a hidden row is that it isn't visible on screen. If particular blocks of values don't often change and don't need to be referred to on a regular basis, then you might want to hide these rows in order to concentrate on the more important parts of the spreadsheet.

Hiding Sheets

You can also hide entire sheets from view if you wish to (for sheets you only access infrequently, perhaps). Click the arrow next to the sheet name on its tab, then choose "Hide sheet" from the pop-up menu. Open up the "View" menu and choose "Hidden sheets" to bring them back again. If you only have one sheet currently in use in your spreadsheet, then the "Hide sheet" option is grayed out and unavailable.

About the Author

An information technology journalist since 2002, David Nield writes about the Web, technology, hardware and software. He is an experienced editor, proofreader and copywriter for online publications such as CNET, TechRadar and Gizmodo. Nield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and lives in Manchester, England.

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