Displaying Table Gridlines

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 28, 2013)

Tables are often used to display all sorts of information in a document. If you remove the borders of a table, however, it can be difficult to see where the table is located and where the edges of each cell are. For these instances, Word allows you to display gridlines around the table. The purpose of these gridlines is to mark the boundaries of the table and each cell in the table when you have the table formatted for no border.

You can turn gridlines on by placing the insertion point within a table and then displaying the Layout tab of the ribbon. In the Table group click the View Gridlines tool. When you later want to turn gridlines off, again follow the same steps.

It should be noted that you may not see any visible difference in the appearance of your tables when you turn the gridlines on or off. The reason is simple—tables, by default, have borders turned on, and the borders obscure the gridlines that Word may display. To see the gridlines, you'll want to remove any border from your table.

The gridlines setting is not set on a per-table basis. In other words, if you turn the gridlines off anywhere in a document (in or out of a table), it is turned off throughout the entire document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6038) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting Help in Dialog Boxes

Dialog boxes are prevalent in a program like Word, and they can contain dozens (if not hundreds) of options. This tip ...

Discover More

Noting a False Zero On a Chart

When creating charts that will be used by other people, you may need to take some liberties with the presentation of your ...

Discover More

Calculating Form Fields

Form fields allow you to create (you guessed it) forms. Here is a description of how you can force Word to calculate the ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Suppressing a Zero in a Calculated Sum

You can use fields to calculate a sum of values in a table column. Here are two ways you can modify what is displayed by the ...

Discover More

Jumping to the Ends of Table Columns

Need a quick shortcut to jump to the top or bottom of a table column? Here's the two shortcuts you are searching for.

Discover More

Hiding Gridlines

For those times when you remove the borders from your tables, Word provides a way that you can display non-printing ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.