How to mask data in Excel

Suppose you have a worksheet that contains confidential information, such as employee salaries, that you do not want a co-worker who stops by your desk to see. Or perhaps

How to mask data in Excel

Suppose you have a worksheet that contains confidential information, such as employee salaries, that you do not want a co-worker who stops by your desk to see. Or perhaps you multiply the values in a range of cells by the value in another cell that you do not want to be visible on the worksheet. By applying a custom number format, you can hide the values of those cells on the worksheet.

Note:Although cells with hidden values appear blank on the worksheet, their values remain displayed in the formula bar where you can work with them.

Hide cell values

Select the cell or range of cells that contains values that you want to hide. For more information, see Select cells, ranges, rows, or columns on a worksheet.

Note:The selected cells will appear blank on the worksheet, but a value appears in the formula bar when you click one of the cells.

On the Home tab, click the Dialog Box Launcher

Button image

next to Number.

Excel Ribbon Image

In the Category box, click Custom.

In the Type box, select the existing codes.

Type ;;; (three semicolons).

Click OK.

Tip:To cancel a selection of cells, click any cell on the worksheet.

Display hidden cell values

Select the cell or range of cells that contains values that are hidden. For more information, see Select cells, ranges, rows, or columns on a worksheet.

On the Home tab, click the Dialog Box Launcher

Button image

next to Number.

Excel Ribbon Image

In the Category box, click General to apply the default number format, or click the date, time, or number format that you want.

Tip:To cancel a selection of cells, click any cell on the worksheet.

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