Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Hiding Table Gridlines, by Default.

Hiding Table Gridlines, by Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 8, 2014)

2

Ben said that he was having a problem with gridlines. He wanted them to be turned off (invisible) by default, but could not get that to occur. Gridlines in tables are controlled by the Hide/Show Gridlines toggle on the Tables menu. If the option in the menu is Hide Gridlines, then that means gridlines are visible; they are turned on. If the option is Show Gridlines, then that means gridlines are invisible; they are turned off.

In doing some testing, we found that the setting of the gridlines option is persistent from one session of Word to another. In other words, if you click Table | Hide Gridlines, then that setting remains for future sessions with Word, unless you have a macro that resets the option. If you are sure that the gridlines option is, indeed, being reset, then this is the first thing to check.

One thing to check is whether you are possibly confusing gridlines with borders. When you insert a table into a document, Word adds borders to that table by default. Only if you remove the borders can you see the underlying gridlines, provided you didn't click Table | Hide Gridlines. Borders print, but gridlines do not print; they are only visible for reference purposes.

To turn off borders by default, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new, blank document.
  2. Choose Table AutoFormat from the Table menu. Word displays the Table AutoFormat dialog box.
  3. Scroll through the list of available formats and choose Table Normal. The borders on the table shown in the preview area should disappear.
  4. Click Default. Word displays the Default Table Format dialog box.
  5. Click an option in the dialog box, depending on whether you want the change to apply to the current document or to all documents based on the template used to create the document in step 1.
  6. Click OK. Word sets the default as you specified.
  7. Close all the open dialog boxes.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (293) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Hiding Table Gridlines, by Default.

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

Displaying Path Names in the Menu Bar

Want the full path name for a document visible on the screen? Easily add it to a menu bar.

Discover More

Selecting Columns in VBA when Cells are Merged

If you have a macro that selects different columns in a worksheet while processing information, you may get some undesired ...

Discover More

Working with Multiple Conditions

When you apply conditional formatting, you are not limited to using a single condition. Indeed, you can set up multiple ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Noting Table Rows Containing a Character

If you want to have Word highlight rows in a table that contain a certain character, you need to resort to using a macro. ...

Discover More

Table Borders Won't Print

Print a table and you may be surprised if it has no borders. That could be because you actually have the borders turned off. ...

Discover More

Creating a Split Page

In WordPerfect terminology, a split page allows you to put information side-by-side on opposite halves of the page. If you ...

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 4 + 1?

2015-09-21 15:33:54

Elise

I couldn't recall how to show the gridlines on a table when the None (border lines) is selected. Now I know that option is in Table Tools - Design - Borders. thanks.


2015-08-11 16:16:11

George

I tried your "borders by default" and it works (Word 2003) Then instead of a new document, I tried it on a document I was working on and it removed the guidlines. Thanks


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.