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: Hiding Gridlines.

Hiding Gridlines

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 14, 2020)

1

You may not realize it when you first insert a table, but most versions of Word include non-printing gridlines around the table. You can't normally see the gridlines because they are obscured by the border that Word formats tables with by default. The purpose of gridlines is to mark the boundaries of the table and each cell in the table when you have the table formatted for no border. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Gridlines are normally obscured by the table borders.

In Word 2007 and Word 2010 gridlines are turned off by default. In Word 2013 and later versions gridlines are turned on by default. You, of course, have complete control over whether gridlines are displayed or not, regardless of your version of Word.

You turn gridlines on or off 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. You can also control their display by displaying the Table Design tab of the ribbon, clicking the down-arrow under the Borders tool (in the Borders group) and then choosing View Gridlines.

The gridlines setting is not set on a per-table basis. In other words, if you turn the gridlines off anywhere in a document, 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 (13082) 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: Hiding Gridlines.

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

Consistent Spacing

It is a good idea to make sure that the spacing following each sentence in your document is consistent. Here's a handy ...

Discover More

Placing WordArt Over Graphics

WordArt is a program that allows you to insert fancily formatted text, as a graphic, in your document. If you want your ...

Discover More

Fields Won't Update when Printing

When you print a document, Word normally performs several steps, one of which is to update any fields contained in the ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Hiding Table Rows on a Printout

When you work with tables in your document, you may want to hide some of rows in those tables so that they don't print ...

Discover More

Centering a Table

Left-justified tables are great for many document designs, but you may want instead to center a table between the margins ...

Discover More

Using Outline Numbering in a Table

Can you put a numbered outline in a table? Yes, you can. But Word is rather prickly when it comes to using the keyboard ...

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 six more than 2?

2016-07-05 19:36:05

Jackie Weyhenmeyer

In Word 2003, I am unable to delete the gridlines in my document. I have tried "Hide Gridlines to know effect.


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.