How to Show Gridlines in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Want to make your Word document look more like a traditional spreadsheet? Gridlines might be just what you need. They’re those faint lines that you see on Excel worksheets, and they can be quite handy in Word too. They won’t print out, but they can certainly help you align text and objects with precision. So let’s get those gridlines showing!

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Show Gridlines in Word

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about what we’re achieving here. By following the steps below, you’ll be able to see gridlines on your Word document, which will make it easier to align text boxes, images, and other elements accurately.

Step 1: Open Word and Your Document

Open Microsoft Word and then the document where you want to show gridlines.

Once you’ve opened your document, you’re ready to start the process of making those gridlines visible.

Step 2: Navigate to the “View” Tab

Click on the “View” tab at the top of the Word window.

The “View” tab is where you can adjust what you see on your screen while you’re working on a document.

Step 3: Check the “Gridlines” Box

In the “Show” group, you’ll see a checkbox for “Gridlines.” Click on it to turn gridlines on.

You’ll immediately see the gridlines appear in the background of your document. Remember, these won’t print; they’re just there to guide you as you work.

After you complete these steps, you will see a grid pattern overlay on your document. This grid won’t appear when you print the document—it’s just there to help you while you work.

Tips for Showing Gridlines in Word

  • Gridlines are great for aligning objects, but they won’t affect the layout of your text.
  • If you’re not seeing the gridlines, make sure you’re in “Print Layout” view. Some views, like “Web Layout,” don’t show gridlines.
  • You can also adjust the grid settings by going to “Align” in the “Arrange” group on the “Format” tab.
  • For more detailed work, use the “Draw Table” tool under the “Insert” tab to create a custom grid.
  • If you need to align text precisely, consider using a table instead of relying on gridlines.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I print gridlines in Word?

Gridlines in Word are not meant to be printed. If you need to print gridlines, consider using a table instead.

Can I customize the gridlines?

Yes, you can adjust the spacing and other settings by clicking “Align” in the “Arrange” group on the “Format” tab, then selecting “Grid Settings.”

Will gridlines appear on all pages of my document?

Gridlines will appear on any page of your document that is in “Print Layout” view while the gridlines are turned on.

Why can’t I see the gridlines I turned on?

Make sure you’re in “Print Layout” view, as some views do not display gridlines. Also, check that you’ve selected the “Gridlines” checkbox in the “View” tab.

Are gridlines in Word the same as in Excel?

While they serve a similar purpose, Word’s gridlines are simpler and are used for aligning objects, not for data organization like in Excel.


  1. Open Word and your document.
  2. Click on the “View” tab.
  3. Check the “Gridlines” box.


Gridlines in Word are an underutilized feature that can significantly enhance your formatting capabilities. They help you position text, images, and other elements with precision, ensuring that your document has a clean, professional look. Remember, they’re not just for Excel pros! Anyone can make use of gridlines to improve their Word documents. Just follow the easy steps we’ve outlined, and you’ll be aligning like a pro in no time.

If you’re someone who’s constantly working on reports, newsletters, or any other type of document where alignment is key, then mastering the use of gridlines will be a game-changer for you. And if you ever run into any trouble or have more questions, there are plenty of resources available online. Don’t hesitate to seek out Word tutorials and forums for more in-depth guidance.

In conclusion, whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone who likes their documents neat and tidy, learning how to show gridlines in Word is a skill worth adding to your toolkit. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch as your document formatting becomes easier and more precise!

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