Creating Gridlines in Microsoft Word for Office 365

Creating Microsoft Word for Office 365 gridlines is a straightforward process that can be done in just a few steps. It involves going to the “View” tab, checking the “Gridlines” box in the “Show” group, and customizing the grid settings if necessary. By following this simple guide, you’ll have gridlines visible on your document in no time.

After you complete the action of adding gridlines, you will be able to see faint lines on your document which represent the grid. These lines will not print out, but they will help you align text and objects within the document.


Microsoft Word for Office 365 is a powerful tool that many of us use daily, be it for creating work documents, school projects, or personal letters. One feature that often goes unnoticed but can significantly enhance the layout and design of your documents is the use of gridlines. These non-printable lines can serve as a guide to align your text, images, and other elements on the page, ensuring a neat, professional-looking document.

But why is this topic important, and who needs to know about it? Well, everyone from students to business professionals can benefit from using gridlines. Gridlines can make the difference between a cluttered, amateurish report and a clean, organized one that impresses your teacher or boss. Let’s dive into the steps to set up these handy guidelines and explore the pros and cons of using them.

A Step by Step Tutorial

This tutorial will guide you through the process of creating gridlines in Microsoft Word for Office 365.

Step 1: Open the “View” tab

Access the gridline settings by opening the “View” tab on the ribbon.

In Word, look for the ribbon at the top of the page – that’s the toolbar with all the different tabs. Click on the one that says “View”, usually found towards the end.

Step 2: Check the “Gridlines” box

Find the “Show” group and check the box for “Gridlines” to make them visible on your document.

Once you’re in the View tab, you’ll see a section labeled “Show”. Here, you’ll find the checkbox for “Gridlines”. Clicking this box will instantly add a grid to your document.

Step 3: Customize the grid settings (Optional)

If you need to adjust the grid, go to “Align” > “Grid Settings” to customize the spacing and other options.

If the default grid isn’t quite what you need, you can tweak it. Click on “Align” in the “Arrange” group, then choose “Grid Settings”. Here, you can change the spacing of the gridlines, among other options.


There are several benefits to using gridlines in Microsoft Word for Office 365.

Benefit 1: Improved Alignment

Gridlines help you align text and objects, leading to a more organized layout.

With gridlines, you can easily see if your text boxes, images, or charts are lined up. This makes for a cleaner, more professional look.

Benefit 2: Consistent Spacing

Gridlines ensure consistent spacing between elements in your document.

Spacing can be tricky to eyeball, but gridlines take the guesswork out of the equation. Your document will have a uniform appearance, which is especially important for professional or academic work.

Benefit 3: Easier Editing and Formatting

Editing and formatting become less of a hassle with gridlines.

Ever tried to line up bullet points or move an image just a smidge to the left? Gridlines can make these common editing tasks much easier.


There are also some drawbacks and limitations to consider when using gridlines.

Drawback 1: Can be Distracting

The presence of gridlines may be distracting for some users.

For those who prefer a clean workspace, the gridlines, although faint, could be a visual distraction. It can take some getting used to.

Drawback 2: No Print Option

Gridlines do not print out with your document.

If you’re hoping that these lines could guide you in cutting out elements after printing, you’re out of luck. They’re purely for on-screen use.

Drawback 3: Limited Customization

Customization options for the grid are limited.

While you can adjust some settings, you’re limited to what Word offers. If you need a more complex grid, you might have to look for additional software or tools.

Additional Information

While creating gridlines in Microsoft Word for Office 365 is relatively simple, there are a few additional tips and information that can enhance your experience. For instance, if you regularly work with gridlines, you might want to default them to show on every new document. This can be done by modifying the Normal template or creating your unique template with gridlines enabled.

Also, remember that gridlines are for visual aid only; they won’t restrict your text or objects to the grid. If you want to snap your items to the grid, you’ll need to use the “Snap to Grid” feature found under the “Align” menu.

It’s also worth noting that gridlines will not appear in Web Layout or Draft view – only in Print Layout. So, if you switch views, don’t be surprised if they disappear.


  1. Open the “View” tab.
  2. Check the “Gridlines” box.
  3. Customize the grid settings (optional).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make gridlines appear on every new document by default?

Yes, you can modify the Normal template or create a new template with gridlines enabled to have them appear on every new document.

Do gridlines print out with the document?

No, gridlines will not print. They are designed only to help with the layout during the editing process.

Can I snap objects to the gridlines?

Yes, if you want objects to align perfectly with the grid, use the “Snap to Grid” feature under the “Align” menu.

Will gridlines show in all views?

No, gridlines are only visible in Print Layout view. They will not appear in Web Layout or Draft view.

Can I change the color of the gridlines?

No, the color of the gridlines in Word is not customizable. They are always displayed as a light grey.


Adding gridlines to your Microsoft Word document is an easy way to enhance the layout and professionalism of your work. Whether you’re a student looking to tidy up an essay or a professional creating a report, gridlines can offer structure and guidance. While they come with their limitations – such as being non-printable and somewhat distracting – the benefits of improved alignment and consistent spacing are invaluable tools for any Word user.

Remember, gridlines are there to assist you, not to constrain you. Use them as a guide, but don’t be afraid to turn them off if they’re not serving your purpose. Happy formatting!