Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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 Diagonal Borders.

Adding Diagonal Borders

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 13, 2020)

Word allows you to add all sorts of borders to paragraphs, text boxes, and tables. You can place borders on the left, right, top, and bottom of these items. Many people don't realize that when it comes to table cells, you can also place diagonal borders. This means that a border can appear from the top-left to the lower-right corners of a cell, or from the top-right to the lower-left. To take advantage of diagonal borders, follow these steps if you are using Word 2007 or Word 2010:

  1. Create your table as you normally would.
  2. Select the cell you want to have the diagonal border.
  3. Display the Design tab of the ribbon. (This tab is only visible if you've done step 2.)
  4. In the Table Styles group, click the down-arrow next to the Borders tool. Word displays a series of border types from which you can choose.
  5. Choose Diagonal Down Border or Diagonal Up Border, as desired.

If you are using Word 2013 or a later version, the steps are essentially the same, but the Borders tool is found in the Borders group and the down-arrow is at the bottom of the Borders tool.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12722) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Adding Diagonal Borders.

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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