+ indicating rows to expand does not always appear to the left of hidden rows

Copper Contributor



If I highlight a row and simultaneously hold down Shift/Alt/Right Arrow, a "+" sign appears to the left of the row allowing me to toggle hide or unhide it.


Why does this not work in every spreadsheet?  I have another spreadsheet that does not show a "+" to the left of hidden rows.


Thanks in advance

8 Replies



There are two separate but similar features:

1. Hiding rows

2. Grouping rows (outline)


1. Hiding a row or rows is usually achieved by either:


- select the rows, right-click, use 'Hide', or
- press Ctrl+9 will hide any rows currently selected


Hiding a row or rows in this way doesn't add the "+" symbol to the row header area.


2. Alternatively, you can use the "Outline" feature, which is on the Data tab:


The shortcut you quote is for using the "Group" button. This essentially groups the rows into an outline level which can be collapsed or expanded using the + or - symbols.


If you don't see the + symbol or - symbol, it's likely that the rows were hidden using the method outlined under part 1 above. 


Thank you for responding. Why is the Outline option not displaying in some worksheets? How do I turn it on?
If the outline isn't showing, it probably means the rows were hidden (method 1) and not grouped (method 2). You would need to un-hide the rows, then group them using the Outline feature.
Thank you for responding.

How do I turn on the Outline feature?

Seems like once it is on in certain spreadsheets, it should stay on on all spreadsheets.
It's not something that's "on" or "off". Specific rows are either hidden or grouped. If they're not grouped, then they can't be expanded/collapsed.
I am not being clear... why does the Outline feature / menu option not show up when certain spreadsheets are loaded
for other sheets, the menu option is present to Outline?
Are you saying that the Outline button group is missing from the ribbon?
I found the Outline menu option hidden under the "Data" menu for the troublesome excel worksheet... usually the Outline option is in my Ribbon.

Anyway, it still doesn't work... I get an error message "! cannot create Outline"