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: Unwanted Vertical Lines in a Table.

Unwanted Vertical Lines in a Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 18, 2015)

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 (9498) 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: 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

Replacing in Worksheets and Comments At the Same Time

If you need to replace information that may appear in cells, comments, and text boxes, your best bet is to use a macro. This ...

Discover More

Understanding Storage Spaces

Need to add some addition drive space to your system? Why not consider adding what Microsoft calls a "storage space?" This ...

Discover More

Creating Styles

Standardize the formatting in your Excel workbooks quickly and easily with the Style feature. Here's how to use it.

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Quick Recall of Table Formats

Got a table that you use over and over again? One way you can make quick work of such repetition is to save the table in an ...

Discover More

Converting Tables to Text

Need to convert all the tables in your document into plain text? This tip provides a macro that can make quick work of a ...

Discover More

Different Table Captions on Multiple Pages

If you have a table that spans multiple pages, you may want to add a caption to the table and have that caption use different ...

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 for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

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.

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.

Links and Sharing
Share