Displaying Table Gridlines

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 10, 2019)

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. ...

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