It’s All Blank To Me: Turning On Gridlines In Word

Templates in Microsoft Word are made using Tables – the cells in the table represent the labels on a sheet (and the blank spaces between them, where applicable).

Some people open Word templates and find that they can’t see a template (or, indeed, a table). Our templates feature the Product Size Code for that particular size and layout (e.g. LP4/99 or LP65/38) in each of the cells that represents a label, which means that when some of our customers download our templates all they can see are these codes and nothing else.

If this happens to you: DON’T WORRY!!!

This simply means that “Gridlines” are turned off – in other words, Word isn’t displaying the border lines that outline the table and the cells within it. All you need to do to get your template into a usable state is to turn on gridlines…


The process may be slightly different depending on which version of Word you are using. We’ve outlined the processes for versions of Word going back to 2003.

    Step One: Click inside the table
    Step Two: Click on the “Table Layout” tab at the top of the page
    Step Three: Under “Settings”, click “Gridlines”
  • WORD 2013, WORD 2010, & WORD 2007
    Step One: Click inside the table
    Step Two: Click on the “Layout” tab at the top of the page (beneath “Table Tools”)
    Step Three: Click “View Gridlines”
  • WORD 2003
    Step One: Click on the “Table Menu” at the top of the page
    Step Two: Click “Show Gridlines”

If you struggle to get Gridlines to turn on, remember you can always use the built in “Help” function to check that you are using the correct set of instructions for the version of Word that you are using.

You should also bear in mind that the more recent versions of Word feature TWO “Gridlines” functions; one refers specifically to the borders of Tables and the other refers specifically to a set of Gridlines that can be used as a reference guide for positioning objects accurately on a particular page (or pages) of a document. The “Page Guidelines” are accessible from the standard set of tabs that are always visible at the top of the page (e.g. in Word 2013, “Page Guidelines” can be turned on or off by clicking on the “View” tab and then checking or unchecking the “Show Gridlines” box). Where both Gridlines functions are available the “Table Gridlines” is always placed on a specific Table Tools tab, which you can only view (and therefore select from) AFTER you have clicked on (or rather in) the table you are working with.

All of our templates (including Word and PDF versions) can be downloaded from our Template Page.

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