I see a colon or semicolon when I "hide" cell contents

New Contributor

I'm building a calendar template. In a few cases, I have a logic function in a cell to indicate what background color to use in conditional formatting. The function returns a 1,2,3, or 4 depending on the time, and I don't want these cell contents to be printed. I don't mind if I see a contents indicator when viewing the sheet; but when I print, I only want to see the background color.

I read in the Help menu; to "achieve" hidden cell contents, I add three semicolons (;;;) to the "Custom" Category "Type" field, in the "Format Cells" dialog box. I did this for these 'indicator' cells, but, I see a colon or semicolon when I print the sheet.

I'm just returning to Excel after years of absence since Office '98.  I vaguely remember a "hide cell contents" something or other; that, only reveals a "cell note" looking dog ear to indicate cell contents, and it did not show when printed. 

Thank you for your read, and suggestions- 


  -  Jesse


4 Replies



If I can recommend you, it is always better if you include a file (without sensitive data), have done some preliminary work there and explain your plan on the basis of this file.
This way you could come up with a proposed solution much faster.
Please consider that we help here voluntarily and are not paid to do the job.
Help to be helped.
Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding


I know I don't know anything (Socrates)



Is that like this what you do?


And do you see semicolons only when print or on screen as well?

I just checked, and discovered, I had used three colons ":::" instead of three semicolons ";;;" in the  "Custom" Category "Type" field, in the "Format Cells" dialog box.  I can see the difference now.

Thank you-


@Sergei Baklan 


Thanks for the update, glad to know you sorted this out