Hiding a worksheet in a Microsoft Excel workbook is easy, but it is just as easy to unhide it. Not many people know that Excel also supports a higher level worksheet hiding, called “very hidden”. This article tells how to make a worksheet “very hidden” and how to unhide it again.
Enable the Developer Tab
In order to make a worksheet “very hidden”, you must first enable the Developer tab in your copy of Excel. By default the Developer tab is disabled.
1. Select File | Options | Customize Ribbon.
2. A Customize Ribbon dialog box will pop up. On the top right-hand side of the dialog box is a drop-down selector, also labeled Customize Ribbon. Select the Main Tabs option.
3. Now below the drop-down selector will appear a large box with the names of different Excel menu tabs. Select the check-box next to the word Developer, and click the OK button at the bottom of the dialog.
Making a Worksheet Very Hidden
To make a worksheet “very hidden”, do the following:
1. At the very bottom of the Excel workbook, select the tab for the worksheet you want to make “very hidden”.
2. At the top of the Excel workbook, click on the Developer tab.
3. At the center of the ribbon there should be a group of texted icons with names like Insert, Design Mode, and View Code.
4. Click on the icon labeled Properties. It has a picture of a finger pointing to a sheet of paper.
5. A list of properties and their values should pop up. On the left-hand side of the list, locate the Visible property.
6. On the right-hand side of the list, set the value of the Visible property to xlSheetVeryHidden, using the available drop-down selector.
The worksheet should now be very hidden.
Making a Very Hidden Worksheet Visible Again
Once a worksheet is “very hidden”, you cannot directly set its properties it from the Excel GUI. The means if you want to unhide the worksheet, you will need to access its properties from the Excel Visual Basic Editor (VBE).
Proceed as follows:
1. Type [Alt]+F11 to access the Visual Basic Editor.
2. On the left side Visual Basic Editor, you should see a Project Explorer window and a Properties window. If either of these is missing, it can be enabled from the View menu at the top of the Visual Basic Editor.
3. In the Project Explorer window, select the worksheet you want to unhide.
4. In the Properties window, locate the Visible property, the same way you did in the previous section of this article.
5. Now, on the right-hand side of the list, set the value of the Visible property to xlSheetVisible, using the available drop-down selector.
The worksheet should now be visible again.
Anyone can find “very hidden” worksheets just by opening the Excel Visual Basic Editor, so making a worksheet “very hidden” does not make the worksheet particularly secure. On the other hand, making a worksheet “very hidden” does serve a useful purpose, by getting it out of the way, in a manner that most users are unlikely to accidentally override.
Although it is not a security feature, making a spreadsheet “very hidden” (and unhiding it again) can be useful and valuable in some circumstances; and it is easy to do so by following the instructions included in this article.