How to Print Grid Lines in MS Word

By Kevin Lee

Grids, like tables, can organize information on a page and make it more readable. Microsoft Word 2013 has a grid that can help you position elements on pages, but that grid doesn't appear when you print a document. Because tables are similar to grids, you can print grid lines on a document by making table borders and cells dark enough to see when printed. Use colors for the borders, and your grids can look great when you view them on a computer monitor.

Color Table Border

When you click inside a table that has borders, Word displays a Table Tools section on the ribbon. This section has controls that help you customize your table. Click the "Design" tab in the Table Tools section and you'll see a Border Styles button and a Borders button. Click the "Border Styles" button if you'd like to select a predefined border style from the Border Gallery. You can also click the "Borders" button, then "Borders and Shading" to open the Borders and Shading window that contains a Colors drop-down where you can select a color for your table border. For best visibility on a printout, choose a dark color, such as dark red or dark blue. Click the "Apply To" drop-down menu, select "Table" and click "OK" to apply color to your table's border.

Color Table Cell Borders

If one or more table cells contain important information, you can make them stand out by coloring their borders. Click inside a cell you'd like to color to select it. If you want to color multiple cells, click inside one cell, hold down your left mouse button and drag it to highlight the other cells. Return to the Colors drop-down menu, select a color and then select "Cell" from the "Apply To" drop-down menu.

Border Styling Tips

To make a border wider or smaller, return to the Borders and Styles window and select a size in the "Width" drop-down menu. A wider border is also easier to see on a printout. To make quick cell border changes, you can click inside a table; click "Design" and then click "Border Painter" to activate it. You can then click any cell's border to apply the last style, color and width you used.

Fill Your Cells with Color

In addition to coloring cell borders, you can apply a fill color to the cell itself. Select cells you wish to color, return to the Borders and Shading window and click "Shading." Click the "Fill" drop-down menu and select a color you like, then select "Cell" from the "Apply To" drop-down window.

Table Coloring Tips

Armed with these tools, you can create unique tables by applying different combinations of border colors and fill styles to different parts of your table. Always make test printouts before distributing documents to ensure that fill colors aren't too dark to see your text and that table borders aren't too light to see them on paper.