Hiding Columns, Unhiding, and Column Visibility

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With sheets, another way to customize the look of your view is to hide columns. Hidden columns are not deleted and data can still be added by expanding the row. Hiding columns allows you to simplify views, showcase certain information, or hide columns that are used for computation. 

For instance, if you're managing a big project and want to create a view of at-risk tasks for discussion with engineering leadership, you might hide all but the necessary columns. Below we've done just that, creating a new view with columns hidden to focus in our review of at-risk tasks.


In this animation, you'll notice that our primary view has no hidden columns, but our "At Risk Tasks" view has many hidden columns. You can quickly tell how many columns are hidden because the normally empty hide column button mceclip3.png now shows 8 hidden columns mceclip0.png


Topics in this Article:

Hiding and Unhiding Columns

To hide a column either 1) click on the Hide columns button mceclip3.png and uncheck the column you want to hide.


Or 2) right-click on the column you want hidden and select "Hide Column" mceclip1.png

Unhiding is similar, in the column selector, re-check the column you want to be unhidden. Or select the columns next to the hidden column, right-click, and select "Unhide columns". If you want to hide a column and the checkbox or right-click is greyed out, then that is the primary column.

Note: Hidden columns also hide any header data (the data above the table header row). Header data persists across all sheets, so if you hide columns and make a change to the header it will affect other sheet views in that worksheet.  

Search Column Names and Show/Hide all Columns

In the column selector, you can search for a column by name. This is especially useful for sheets with many columns or similarly named columns. Also, you can quickly check or uncheck all columns, by clicking on "Show all" or "Hide all".


Hiding the Primary Column

By design, the primary column is not hideable. However, you can choose a different primary column and hide the previous primary column.

What to Do If Hide Columns Is Greyed Out?

Only users with the Owner or Manager permission type can hide columns. If the hide columns feature is greyed out, your cursor shows a not allowed symbol when you hover over the hide columns button, or you are not able to hide or unhide columns, then you do not have sufficient permissions to hide or unhide columns. You will need to request that an owner or manager of the workbook upgrade your permission.

Looking for other ways to customize your view? Check out our articles on Filters and Sorts.