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: Adding Borders to Cell Contents.

Adding Borders to Cell Contents

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 20, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


You may already know how to add a border to a cell in a Word table. You may not know that you can go beyond such a border and add a border to the contents of a cell. You can add such a border by following these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point within the cell that contains the text you want to border. (You don't need to select the text or the cell.)
  2. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the down-arrow next to the Border tool in the Paragraph group, and then choose Borders and Shading from the resulting drop-down list. Word displays the Borders and Shading dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Borders and Shading dialog box.

  5. Use the controls in the dialog box to add the borders you desire.
  6. Using the Apply To drop-down list, select Paragraph.
  7. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11513) 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: Adding Borders to Cell Contents.

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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