Excel - 1/8 inch grid lines

Asked By Mang on 01-Jun-07 02:08 AM
I'm using Office 2003. I want to make a few templates for project layouts,
including 1/8 and 1/4 inch grid lines (that don't print). Reading similar
posts I found a macro that I think makes the grid into perfect 1/4 inch
squares. The problem is I don't really know what a macro is, or how to cut
and paste it into a module (what's a module?).  I downloaded a graph paper
template. It was a symmetrical grid, but not a usable size. So I tried to
hone in on 1/8 inch by just reducing the values in the column/row boxes by
the same percentage. That didn't work because the values would snap to the
nearest allowable value (no fine tune adjustments). So is there a way to make
those point values in the width/height boxes not snap to stepped values?
(i.e. use pixels instead of point values). Do I really have to figure out how
to install a macro? If so, can I make the macro conform the grid to diiferent
sizes?  I know Excel is not designed to be a layout program, but jeez, a
simple symmetrical grid pattern built in as a choice on the tool options menu
is too much to ask?

MartinW replied on 01-Jun-07 03:28 AM
Hi Mango,

Click on the box at the row and column header intersection
to select all rows and columns.
Then right click on one of the column headers select column
width and set it to 0.8.
Then right click on one of the row headers select row height
and set it to 8.

This should give you a grid of around an 1/8th of an inch
when printed on an A4 sheet (11x8)
however it is not a very usable size for a spreadsheet.

Mang replied on 01-Jun-07 09:44 PM
Hi Martin,
I don't understand your response unfortunately. Where's the box at the row
and column header intersection? To select all rows and columns can't I just
hit Ctrl A? What you're suggesting sounds like what I tried already by
accessing the Format menu. The values for height and width aren't measured in
the same units (points). They're both called points for some reason but they
aren't the same. A value of 11.5 for height and 1.29 for width results in a
square grid, but not the size I want.
Gord Dibben replied on 01-Jun-07 10:31 PM

Very difficult to get an exact 1/8th grid natively in Excel.

Row heights are measured in points or pixels.  There are 72 points to an inch
and "maybe" 96 pixels to the inch.

The number that appears in the Standard column width box is the average number
of digits 0-9 of the standard font that fit in a cell.

For an interesting and enlightening discussion on this subject see


If you want to use VBA to set height and width in mm.

Ole Erlandson has code for setting row and column dimensions.


Gord Dibben Excel MVP

On Fri, 1 Jun 2007 18:44:00 -0700, Mango <Mango@>
Bill Sharpe replied on 04-Jun-07 06:13 PM
Quattro Pro is the spreadsheet program in Corel's WordPerfect suite and
is available for purchase. It's cheaper than MS Office.

OpenOffice.Org Calc is the spreadsheet program in this open source suite
of programs. It's free, but it's a 100 mb download and the full
installation takes 285 mb in its program files folder. The suite also
includes a word processor, a drawing program, a database program, a
presentation program, and a math editor.

As I said, it's a drastic step to switch your spreadsheet program like
this, but it's quite easy to set up any height and width desired for a cell.

You might also consider setting up a table in Word. You can specify
column width and row height in inches in Table Properties.

Mang replied on 04-Jun-07 09:18 PM
Thank you Martin, Gord, and Bill for your salient advice.