How to Enable Google Docs Table Borders

To enable table borders in Google Docs, simply open your document, click on the table you want to modify, right-click, and select ‘Table properties’. From there, you can adjust the border color, width, and more. This quick action enhances your document’s readability and aesthetic appeal.

After you’ve enabled the borders on your Google Docs table, you’ll notice an immediate visual impact. The data will appear more organized and easier to read, with clear delineations between rows and columns, transforming a bland table into an engaging data presentation.


In the world of digital documentation, Google Docs reigns supreme for its collaborative and user-friendly features. Whether you’re a student organizing research, a business professional tracking metrics, or an educator preparing course materials, chances are you’ll need to create a table at some point. However, a table without borders is like a room without walls — undefined and chaotic.

Borders give tables structure, guiding the reader’s eye through the data with ease. Enabling borders in your Google Docs tables can make your documents look more professional and help your readers digest the information more effectively. This feature is particularly relevant for individuals who are looking to enhance the clarity and presentation of their documents. So, let’s dive in and learn how to give your tables the definition they deserve!

Related: How to Center a Google Docs Table

A Step by Step Tutorial

Before we delve into the step-by-step process, understand that this tutorial is designed to help you create more visually appealing and reader-friendly tables in Google Docs.

Step 1: Open your Google Doc and select the table

Click on the table you wish to modify.

Tables in Google Docs can often blend into the text, especially if they lack borders. Selecting the table is your first step towards creating a distinct data display area.

Step 2: Right-click and select ‘Table properties’

Right-click on the table and choose ‘Table properties’ from the context menu.

This step is where the magic happens. The ‘Table properties’ option is the control room for all your table customization needs, including borders.

Step 3: Adjust the border color, width, and dash

In the table properties menu, make the desired adjustments to border color, width, and dash style.

Personalizing the border color, width, and dash style can be crucial for differentiating between different types of information or simply for aesthetic preference.

Step 4: Click ‘OK’ to apply the changes

After making your changes, click ‘OK’ to apply them to your table.

Once you hit ‘OK’, your table will instantly update to reflect the new border settings, allowing you to see the changes in real-time.


Enhanced Readability

Clear borders can significantly improve how easily information is read and understood.

Without borders, data can appear jumbled. Adding them can be the difference between confusion and comprehension for your readers.

Improved Aesthetics

Borders can transform a bland table into a more visually appealing one.

Aesthetics matter in documentation. Well-defined tables can make your document more inviting and professional-looking.

Better Data Organization

Borders help to categorize and organize data within a table effectively.

This benefit is especially important in tables with a lot of data. Borders serve as guides that help the reader navigate through the information seamlessly.


Can Be Distracting

If overused or too bold, borders can become distracting.

It’s possible to have too much of a good thing. If your borders are too thick or too colorful, they might overshadow the content of the table.

May Increase Printing Costs

More borders mean more ink, which can lead to higher printing costs.

In an age where conservation is key, it’s worth considering how border-heavy documents will affect your ink usage and the environment.

Potential for Overemphasis

Borders can inadvertently overemphasize certain information.

Borders naturally draw the eye. If every part of your table is bordered, it can make it difficult to highlight the most important data.

Additional Information

When working with tables in Google Docs, you might find yourself facing a variety of situations that require a bit more finesse. For instance, if you’re dealing with a very large table, adding borders to only certain sections can help differentiate various data sets without overwhelming the reader. It’s also possible to add borders to individual cells rather than the entire table, which is a nifty way to emphasize specific data points. Additionally, keep in mind the accessibility aspect; borders are not just about looks, but also about making tables easier to navigate for those with visual impairments. Finally, remember that consistency is key. Make sure your border style, width, and color are consistent throughout your document to maintain a professional and cohesive look.


  1. Open your Google Doc and select the table.
  2. Right-click and select ‘Table properties’.
  3. Adjust the border color, width, and dash.
  4. Click ‘OK’ to apply the changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply borders to specific cells?

Yes, you can apply borders to specific cells by selecting them and then following the same steps.

Will the borders be visible when I export the document as a PDF?

Absolutely, the borders will remain intact when exporting to PDF format.

Can I add borders to a table on the Google Docs mobile app?

Yes, the Google Docs mobile app also allows you to add borders to your tables.

Are there keyboard shortcuts to quickly adjust table borders?

As of now, Google Docs does not offer specific keyboard shortcuts for adjusting table borders.

Can I save my border settings to use on other tables?

Currently, Google Docs doesn’t have the feature to save custom border settings, so you’ll need to set them manually for each table.


Adding borders to your Google Docs tables is a simple yet transformative process that elevates the clarity and visual appeal of your documents. Whether you’re aiming to impress a client with a sleek report or just want to keep your notes tidy, mastering table borders is a must-have skill in your Google Docs toolkit. Remember, the key to effective table design is balance; use borders wisely to enhance your data without distracting from it. Practice with different tables and settings to see what works best for your specific needs. And if you find yourself struggling, don’t hesitate to revisit these tips or explore the wealth of resources available online. Now, go forth and border with confidence!

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