Format Table Cells with Custom Borders in PowerPoint

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated April 7, 2021

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

You can change the formatting of a table border or the borders of specific cells in PowerPoint by changing the border style, thickness (weight) or color. Different borders can be applied to cells in the same table. For example, you could apply a thick line to header cells and a thin line to the cells in the last row of a table.

Borders can be applied to the top, bottom left or right side of a cell or cells. Tables are normally formatted first with table styles in PowerPoint and then you can apply custom borders to specific cells.

Unfortunately, you cannot customize table styles in PowerPoint in the same way as Microsoft Word.

To change cell border line style, weight or color, you will need to select the cells you want to change, choose the desired line style, weight or color and then apply the border you want.

Borders appear in the Table Styles group on the Table Tools Design or Table Design tab in the Ribbon:

Borders for tables in PowerPoint.

Recommended article: How to Match Colors in PowerPoint Using the Eyedropper

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Note: Some Ribbon tabs may appear with slightly different names if you are working on Office 365 and have a smaller screen or different display settings. For example, Table Tools Design may appear as Table Design. Buttons may also appear with or without text.

Apply a border with a specific line style to table cells

To apply a border with a specific line style to table cells:

  1. Select the cells to which you want to apply a border.
  2. Click the Table Tools Design or Table Design tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Draw Borders group, click the Pen Style arrow. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. Click a line style in the menu.
  5. Click the Borders arrow in the Table Styles group. A drop-down menu appears.
  6. Click the type of border you want in the menu (such as Bottom Border).
  7. Repeat for other borders (such as Top Border).

The Pen style (line style) drop-down menu appears as follows:

Pen or line style drop-down menu in PowerPoint to change table borders.

Apply a border with a specific line thickness or weight to table cells

You can apply thin, medium or thick borders to table cells in PowerPoint. The thickness of a line or border is called weight and is measured in points.

To apply a border with a specific weight or thickness to table cells:

  1. Select the cells to which you want to apply a border.
  2. Click the Table Tools Design or Table Design tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Draw Borders group, click the Pen weight arrow. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. Select a line weight or thickness in the menu.
  5. Click the Borders arrow in the Table Styles group. A drop-down menu appears.
  6. Click the type of border you want in the menu (such as Bottom Border).
  7. Repeat for other borders (such as Top Border).

The Pen weight or thickness drop-down menu appears as follows:

Pen weight or thickness drop-down menu in PowerPoint.

Apply a border with a specific color to table cells

When you create a table and apply table styles, the available colors are based on the selected color theme in the presentation. If you want to apply a border color to selected cells, it's best to use theme colors so that if you change the theme, the table colors will also change. Overall themes and color themes appear on the Design tab in the Ribbon in Normal View.

To apply a border with a specific color to table cells:

  1. Select the cells to which you want to apply a border.
  2. Click the Table Tools Design or Table Design tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Draw Borders group, click the Pen Color arrow. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. Click a color in the gallery. If you choose a Standard Color or More Colors, this will override the theme.
  5. Click the Borders arrow in the Table Styles group. A drop-down menu appears.
  6. Click the type of border you want in the menu (such as Bottom Border).
  7. Repeat for other borders (such as Top Border).

The Pen color drop-down menu appears as follows:

Pen color drop-down menu in PowerPoint to change table cell border color.

Tips for working with borders in tables

You can select all three options (style, weight and color) first and then apply the borders for all settings at once.

If you choose All Borders in the Borders drop-down menu, borders will be applied to the top, bottom, left and right of the each cell in the selection.

If a pencil icon appears and you want to get rid of it, press Escape.

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Summary
Change Table or Cell Border Color, Style or Thickness in PowerPoint
Article Name
Change Table or Cell Border Color, Style or Thickness in PowerPoint
Description
You can change the formatting of a table border or the borders of multiple table cells in PowerPoint by changing the border style, thickness (weight) or color. Different borders can be applied to cells in the same table. For example, you could apply a thick line to header cells and a thin line to the cells in the last row of a table.
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Publisher Name
Avantix Learning Inc.

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