Borders and Shading In Word 2013

Word 2013 Table Borders

There are many different styles available to the tables you insert into your Word 2013 documents. These styles are presented in the Table Styles group on the Table Tools > Design tab, whenever a table is selected. Styles define how your table looks in a holistic way, i.e. they control what cells have shading, what colour that shading is and cell borders.

However, you can manually change the borders that your table has, without using Table Styles. The Borders command is found in the Borders group on the Table Tools > Design tab, and offers these options:

Table Borders Command

You first need to decide what borders you want to change, and then select the right elements:

  • one particular cell – placing the cursor in a cell selects it.
  • a group of cells – left click and drag over the cells you want to select.
  • a row – you can either left click and drag over all cells in the row, or you can move the cursor outside the table and to the left of it until the cursor changes to a pointer and then click.
  • multiple rows – the quickest way to select multiple rows is to move the cursor outside the table and to the left of it until the cursor changes to a pointer and then click and drag downwards.
  • the entire table – with the cursor in any cell, click Table Tools > Layout > Table > Select > Select Table

The hard bit is making the selection. Now click on the Borders command (Borders group on the Table Tools > Design tab). If you are unsure of what option to choose, you can move your cursor over some to get an instant live preview. This shows what the table will look like if you go ahead and choose the option without actually applying it.

If none of the options give you what you need, you can get more control by clicking on Borders and Shading at the bottom.

Borders and Shading In Word 2013

The Borders and Shading window allows you to not only select what sides have a border, but choose how wide the border, what colour it has, and whether it is dashed, dotted or solid.

Be careful what is selected in the Apply To box though (bottom right), as your changes might affect the whole table or just a cell. Notice that when “table” is selected, you can control the inner borders, but when “cell” is selected you can control only the top, bottom, left and right borders.