More than once I have been asked how to turn off the grid lines in a table. Just the other day a client asked me if it were possible to turn off the grid lines by default.
The setting of the gridlines option carries over from one instance of Word to another. In other words, if you Hide Gridlines, the setting will remain for all instances using Word.
You will not see the command to hide your gridlines until a table takes shape, and even then it is not very intuitive since it is not on the first tab displayed. When you click on a table, two conditional tabs will be displayed on your ribbon: Design and Layout.
The View Gridlines tool is found in the Table Group on the Layout tab. Clicking on the tool will toggle your gridlines on and off. When the gridlines are enabled the control is highlighted.
One thing you need to be sure about is whether you are confusing gridlines with the borders in your table. When you insert a table into your document, Word adds borders to that table by default. Only if you remove the borders can you see the underlying gridlines, provided you turn off the display of gridlines. Borders print, but gridlines do not print; they are only visible for reference purposes.
If you want to turn off borders by default, you need to add a tool to your QAT (Quick Access Toolbar).
Follow the steps below to learn how:
- Display the Word Options dialog box. In Word 2010 and Word 2013 display the File tab of your Ribbon and then click Options.
- At the left side of the dialog box click Customize Quick Access Toolbar.
- Using the Choose Commands From drop-down, select Commands Not In the Ribbon.
- Locate and select the Table AutoFormat Style command in the list of commands. Do not select the Table AutoFormat command; be certain it is the Table AutoFormat Style command.
- Click the Add button. The command moves to the right side of the dialog box.
- Click OK.
At this point you are ready to turn off your borders:
- Create a new, blank document.
- Click on the Table AutoFormat Style command on your QAT. Word will display the Table AutoFormat dialog box.
- Scroll through the list of available Table Styles and choose Table Normal. The borders on the table shown in the preview area should disappear.
- Click on the Default button. Word will display a dialog box that asks how you want to set the default.
- Click an option in the dialog box, indicating whether the change should apply to the current document or to all documents based on the template used to create your document above.
- Click OK. Word will set the default as you specified.
- Close the open dialog boxes.