How to Add and Remove Table Borders in Google Docs

366376 How to Add and Remove Table Borders in Google Docs

Tables are a useful way to organize and present data in Google Docs. Adding borders to your tables can help define the cells and make the data easier to read. However, sometimes you may want to remove the borders entirely, especially if you are using a table for layout purposes.

Fortunately, adding and removing borders from tables in Google Docs is quick and easy. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know, including:

  • How to add borders to an existing table
  • How to customize the border style and color
  • How to remove borders from the entire table or individual cells
  • Tips for troubleshooting when borders don’t show up properly

Adding Borders to a Table

When you first insert a table in Google Docs, it will have a thin black border around each cell by default. However, you can customize this as needed.

Here are the steps to add borders to a table:

  1. Select the table cells where you want to add a border. To select the entire table, click on the upper-left corner cell.
  2. On the toolbar, click the Borders icon (looks like a square divided into four sections).
  3. In the Borders menu, select the border location and style you want. For example, click the Top Border icon to add a border above the selected cells.
  4. To change the border width, click the dropdown next to Border width in the toolbar and choose a size. 0.5 pt or 1 pt borders show up best.
  5. To change the border color, click the Border color icon in the toolbar (looks like a paint palette) and select a color.

Once you customize the borders to your liking, they will appear around the selected cells.

Customizing Border Style and Color

In addition to adding borders, you can customize their style and color in Google Docs tables:

  • Border style – Click the Border dash icon in the toolbar (next to the Border width dropdown) to select a solid, dotted, or dashed line style.
  • Border color – Click the Border color icon in the toolbar (looks like a paint palette) and choose a color for your border lines. Try matching table header colors.

Experiment with different border styles and colors to find the look you want for your table data. Thicker borders in a contrasting color can help delineate table sections.

Removing Borders

To completely remove borders from a table in Google Docs:

  1. Select the cells where you want to remove borders. This can be the entire table or just certain cells.
  2. Click the Borders icon on the toolbar and choose No border to remove borders from all four sides of the selected cells.
  3. To remove only one border, like the top border, click the specific border icon in the Borders menu and choose No border.
  4. You can also set the Border width to 0 pt to make borders invisible around selected cells.
  5. If the borders still show up, set the Border color to white to hide them.

And that’s all there is to it! With these steps you can easily add, customize, or delete borders on Google Docs tables.

Troubleshooting Table Borders

Sometimes table borders may not show up properly or seem to disappear when you don’t expect them to:

  • Check that the Border width is set to at least 0.5 pt for borders to be visible. A width of 0 pt will hide them.
  • Verify the Border color is set to black or dark color. Matching the border color to a white background will make borders invisible.
  • Borders set for individual cells can override and hide borders set for the entire table. Make sure border settings are consistent.
  • Try removing all custom border formatting and starting over with a fresh border style.
  • As a last resort, delete the table entirely and insert a new one to clear out any lingering border issues.

With a little experimentation, you should be able to get your table borders to show up properly. The formatting options in Google Docs give you lots of control.

Tips for Great Looking Table Borders

Here are some best practices for setting borders on Google Docs tables:

  • Use borders consistently – Set borders on all tables in the document in a uniform way. This presents information clearly for readers.
  • Emphasize headings – Add thicker borders or background shading to table header rows to differentiate them.
  • Focus on data – If you want to emphasize the data itself rather than the table structure, remove borders or set them to white.
  • Match colors – Pick border colors that go well together and fit your document color scheme.
  • Test different styles – Play around with border widths, dashes, and colors to find the right table style for your purpose.


With the steps in this guide, you should now feel comfortable adding, customizing, and removing borders from tables in Google Docs. Well-formatted borders can greatly improve the readability and visual appeal of your tables.

And if you run into issues getting your table borders to display properly, use the troubleshooting tips to track down and fix the problem. With a bit of practice, table borders can help you present clear, professional looking data in Google Docs.