Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Unwanted Vertical Lines in a Table.

Unwanted Vertical Lines in a Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 22, 2018)

1

Hugh created a table in his document that consists of six rows and two columns. He removed both the left-hand and right-hand vertical lines leaving only the centerline and the horizontal lines for each row. When Hugh looks at the screen everything looks fine. However, when he prints the page there are small vertical lines "hanging down" from several of the horizontal lines. These small vertical lines are about 3/16" in length. Hugh wants to know how to remove them.

This problem is going to take a bit of testing to track down the cause. The first thing you should do is to take the document to a different computer that uses a different printer and print it there. If you don't have access to a different computer and printer in your office, then you can drop in at your local library or quick-print shop and use their computers and printers.

If the offending lines don't print on the other systems, then you know that the problem is with your computer and/or printer. If you examine a document and see the unwanted vertical lines on other type or on other graphics, then it could be that there is something wrong with your printer. Either the ink jets are clogged or something has gone haywire in the printing mechanism itself. You can verify this by checking to see if your printer has a "self test" mode where it will print a test sheet. Normally the patterns on the sheet should print crisply, but if they don't then you can be absolutely certain that the problem is with the printer itself.

If the test page prints just fine and your document prints OK on other systems, then the problem (most likely) is with the printer driver on your system. Check with Microsoft and/or the printer manufacturer, at their respective websites, to see if there is an updated printer driver for your make and model of printer. If so, download it and install it to see if it fixes the problem.

One long-shot thing you might check, as well, is to make sure that your document doesn't have Track Changes turned on or that there aren't unresolved changes in the document. If the table contains small type, it could be that the vertical lines are nothing but Word's indicators that a change was made in the text. Resolve any changes in the text and see if the problem goes away.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9499) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Unwanted Vertical Lines in a Table.

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

Editing Wrap Points

If you have a graphic that has text wrapping around it, you might want a way to modify the wrapping path used by Word. ...

Discover More

Converting a PDF to a Docs File

Need to get the text out of a PDF file so that you can edit it? Docs makes it easy by offering to convert the file for ...

Discover More

Wrapping Text in Merged Cells

When you are formatting your worksheet, Excel lets you easily merge adjacent cells together. If you want to wrap the text ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Clearing the Contents of a Table

Want to get rid of information within a table, but not the table itself? Here's a guide to understanding the effects that ...

Discover More

Table Header Rows after a Manual Page Break

Insert a manual page break into the middle of a table, and you may find that subsequent pages of the table don't always ...

Discover More

Freezing Cell Size when Inserting Pictures

Insert a picture into a table cell, and you may quickly find that the table is no longer the size you expected. Here's ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 two more than 3?

2014-03-27 12:57:01

Sharon Flynn

I, too, have this problem, not only with hard copies, but also when publishing or printing to Adobe PDF. I've always attributed it to be a Word "feature".


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.