Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Erasing Table Lines.

Erasing Table Lines

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 30, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


One of the neat things you can do with Word is to draw tables using the tools provided by the program. With you table created, you can easily erase any of the lines that make up your table. The result is a table that looks just the way you want it. To erase table lines, follow these steps:

  1. Create your table as you normally would.
  2. Make sure the insertion point is somewhere within the table.
  3. Display the Design tab of the ribbon (Word 2007 and Word 2010) or the Layout tab of the ribbon (Word 2013 and later versions). These tabs are visible only when the insertion point is within the table.
  4. Click on the Eraser tool, in the Draw Borders group (Word 2007 and Word 2010) or the Draw group (Word 2013 and later versions).
  5. Click and drag to select the table lines you want to erase.
  6. Click on the Eraser tool again or press the Esc key. This turns off the Eraser tool.

You should note that when you erase a line that is a common border between two cells, the two cells are merged. If you try to erase an exterior line from a cell (one that does not border another cell), then the visible table border is removed, but the cell still remains.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6114) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Erasing Table Lines.

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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