How to Remove Table Borders in Google Docs for a Cleaner, More Polished Document Look

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Do you ever create tables in Google Docs but find the borders distracting or visually cluttered? Removing those table lines is easier than you think!

As a longtime Google Docs power user, I often use tables to organize information in my documents. But sometimes those automatic black borders end up looking clunky and amateurish. Getting rid of them can instantly transform your document into something sleeker.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll show you multiple ways to delete borders from tables in Google Docs, using easy menu settings and keyboard shortcuts. You‘ll also learn styling tips to help borderless tables blend seamlessly into your document‘s flow.

Let‘s dive in!

Why Remove Borders from Docs Tables?

Before I get into the step-by-step instructions, here are some excellent reasons to remove borders from Google Docs tables:

Streamline Visual Presentation

Extra lines and boxes can clutter up your document‘s appearance. Removing borders cleans it up.

Draw Attention to Content

Borders can be distracting. By removing lines, you guide readers to focus on the table‘s text and data.

Seamlessly Integrate Tables

Blending a table into surrounding paragraphs creates a unified document look.

Modern Minimalist Design

No borders provides a cleaner, more contemporary style.

Informal Tables

Ditch the lines for a more casual, less stuffy table.

Artistic Flair

Try borderless tables and creative formatting for a unique document aesthetic.

Change Copied Table Style

Deleting borders lets you overhaul the look of a copied and pasted table.

As you can see, removing those borders can be more than just a formatting change. It can transform the entire visual impact of your document.

How to Remove Borders from an Existing Table

Deleting borders from a table you already created only takes seconds:

  1. Click once inside the table. This highlights the entire table.

  2. Open the "Border width" menu. Click the down arrow next to the word "Border" in the toolbar above the document.

  3. Select "0 pt". This removes all borders instantly.

The lines will vanish, converting your bounded table into a freeform version. But the table structure itself will remain intact, with text still aligned in columns and rows.

Here‘s a GIF to illustrate the simple steps:

Animated image showing border width menu

💡 Pro Tip: You can also right-click the table and choose "Table properties" to access the border width setting.

With those 3 quick clicks, you‘ve removed the borders and opened up your document design!

The Difference Between 0 pt Border and No Border

When you open the border width menu, you may notice two options that appear to do the same thing:

  • 0 pt border
  • No border

But there‘s an important distinction between these:

  • 0 pt border: The borders are invisible but still exist in the document formatting code. You can easily revert back to the original border width.

  • No border: This completely deletes the border formatting. If you try to make borders reappear, it will use a default thin border, not the original.

Basically, 0 pt leaves the formatting intact but makes it invisible. No border erases the format entirely.

For most purposes, 0 pt is the best choice if you think you might ever restore the original borders. Just be aware that if you copy and paste a 0 pt table elsewhere, that hidden border formatting tags along too.

Removing Borders from Part of a Table

You don‘t have to apply the same border style to every cell. It‘s possible to remove borders from just certain table areas.

To delete borders from specific cells while keeping others intact:

  1. Highlight the target cells by clicking and dragging across the columns or rows.

  2. Right-click and choose Cell Properties.

  3. In the Table Cell Properties box, set the border width to 0 pt for those cells.

  4. Click OK to apply.

This removes the box edges from particular spots, while preserving overall table structure. It‘s great for selective area emphasis within a larger table.

Restoring Deleted Table Borders

Changed your mind and want to revert to visible borders? No problem:

  1. Click once in the table to highlight the full area again.

  2. Open the "Border width" menu.

  3. Choose a new width like "1 pt" to make borders reappear.

If you originally just changed it to 0 pt, this will restore the previous border format. But if you set it to "no border" then only a default thin border will display.

💡 Pro Tip: You can also right-click and choose Table Properties to reopen the border settings.

And with that, your table goes back to having visible structure lines!

Centering Text in a Borderless Table

One common use of tables in Docs is centering text on a page. But borders can look distracting and unprofessional in these single-cell scenarios.

To center text without borders, follow these steps:

  1. Create a 1×1, single cell table.

  2. Type your centered text inside the table.

  3. Delete the borders as explained earlier.

  4. Open Table Properties and adjust CellPadding to add space between text and cell edge.

  5. Optionally, add a background color to visually center the text block.

This provides centered text positioning without a visible table box around it. Clean, stylish, and effortless!

Adjusting Borderless Table Alignment

Once you remove borders, table alignment might seem off or inconsistent on the page. Without border cues, a table can shift out of position.

To realign a borderless table:

  1. Right-click the table and select Table Properties.

  2. In the Vertical Alignment dropdown, choose "Middle."

  3. Use the Indentation controls to nudge position as needed.

These tweaks will help your borderless table sit correctly on the page, both vertically and horizontally.

Creative Alternatives to Standard Table Borders

Plain black lines aren‘t your only option for formatting table cell separation. Consider these artistic approaches instead of old-school borders:

  • Background color – Add color, gradient or image fills to set cells apart visually.

  • Horizontal lines only – Keep minimal vertical borders but remove horizontals.

  • Merge cells – Combine cells across columns/rows for open, irregular designs.

  • Cell spacing – Increase cell padding to define separation without borders.

  • Top/bottom borders only – Bookend rows with horizontal lines, open on sides.

Don‘t limit yourself to all-or-nothing borders. Mix and match elements like color blocking, separators, merging, and white space for unique table styling.

Comparing to Microsoft Word

If you‘re used to working in Microsoft Word, border removal works nearly the same in Docs:

  • Open the "Borders" dialog box instead of the "Border width" dropdown.

  • Set line width to 0pt to make borders disappear.

  • Can remove borders for selected cells rather than the whole table.

The main difference is Google Docs offers quicker access to border formatting through a simple menu, for rapid changes on the fly.

Overall though, the process of deleting table borders is almost identical between the two apps. Skills transfer nicely across platforms.

Why Do Deleted Borders Randomly Reappear?

If you removed a Google Docs table‘s borders, but later notice they‘ve mysteriously reappeared, here are some possible explanations:

  • The whole table wasn‘t highlighted when you set 0 pt border. Make sure to reapply it to the full area.

  • Cell padding is set to 0, pushing text right to the edges. Add padding to pull text away from invisible borders.

  • Alignment or indentation settings place the "0 pt" border along a page margin, making it visible. Adjust positioning.

  • Hidden formatting from copying/pasting caused borders to return. Paste table in plain text editor, then recreate cleanly.

  • Collaborator edits reintroduced borders. Set to 0 pt again to override.

Basically, double check that border width is still correctly set to 0 pt for all cells if you notice them reappearing unexpectedly.

Eliminate Clutter for a Refined Document Look

As you can see, removing table borders in Google Docs is a breeze with just a couple clicks. This simple formatting adjustment can instantly clean up your document‘s appearance for a more refined, professional look.

By mastering borderless tables, you can:

  • Eliminate visual clutter for smoother flow
  • Focus attention on important data
  • Seamlessly blend tables into text
  • Create clean, modern designs
  • Apply selective formatting within tables
  • Realign and style tables properly
  • Fix formatting issues when borders return

So don‘t settle for the default busy look in your Docs tables. Ditch those lines for a simpler, distraction-free presentation! Use the strategies in this guide to remove borders with ease.

I hope these tips help you become a master at styling borderless tables that perfectly suit your document needs. Your readers will appreciate the clearer visual experience.

Let me know if you have any other Google Docs table formatting questions! I‘m always happy to share my favorite tips and tricks.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.