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How can I see what the line thickness setting is for a column in a table? If I go into Borders & Shading it doesn't tell me. I could click on the line, but then it changes it to whatever default settings are shown. I don't want to change it - I want to know what line thickness it's set for now, e.g. 2, 2.5, 3. Is there a way to do that?

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There is no setting I can find that tells you what a specific border is made from - either thickness or style. You'd need to use your eye. Why do you want to know this? There might be another way to solve your problem. –  Rhys Gibson Jun 12 '12 at 23:31
I want to know for consistency's sake. There are numerous tables and some lines were made bolder than others. There are now OTHER lines I need to make the same boldness to match, but I can't tell what it is. So she may have used 3 pts and if I choose 2.5 or 4 it won't match. It seems a simple enough thing - you select text and it shows you what point size it is. You should be able to select a border line and see what thickness it is BEFORE you decide whether to change it. I was just hoping there was a way to do that. –  Anna Jun 14 '12 at 2:05
Ah, unfortunately no. Your only way around this sort of thing is probably to set up table styles at the start and always use those. –  Rhys Gibson Jun 14 '12 at 4:56

2 Answers 2

In fact, there IS a way to identify the specific borders used in a cell and it’s quite simple. It can be a bit confusing at first because of the way MS identifies which borders are part of which cells, but ultimately you can get the information you need to make sure those hard-to-distinguish line variations are consistent.

To display the information in Word 2010, put the cursor in a table cell and display the Reveal Formatting task pane by pressing Shift+F1. The Reveal Formatting task pane will provide specific information on the table as well as the cell, including border line weights and types.

You can also view the Reveal Formatting task pane via the Reveal Formatting button on the Style Inspector dialog box. The Style Inspector dialog box is accessed clicking the Style Inspector (center) button in the bottom left corner of the Styles task pane.

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Well, it CAN be done, but it is fairly complicated (i.e., not something you're gonna want to do often). I'll outline the method briefly, then elaborate later if you really want to pursue this.

  1. First you'll probably want to copy the table to an empty document so it is easier to work with.
  2. Then what you need to do is open the Open xml file that represents your document.
    • The easiest way to do this is to make a copy of your document, then rename the document and change the extension from .docx to .zip
    • then unzip/extract the resulting .zip file
    • then drill down in the extracted folder to word/document.xml, and open that file (preferably in an xml editor if you have one available)
  3. Now search in your document.xml file for the <w:tblPr> tag, followed a little later by a section of tags that should look something like this:

    <w:tcBorders> <w:top w:val="single" w:sz="4" w:space="0" w:color="auto"/> <w:left w:val="single" w:sz="24" w:space="0" w:color="auto"/> <w:bottom w:val="single" w:sz="24" w:space="0" w:color="auto"/> <w:right w:val="single" w:sz="2" w:space="0" w:color="auto"/> </w:tcBorders>

  4. (there should be one group like this for every cell in the table. Note that there are 4 inner tags labeled w:top, w:left, w:bottom, & w:right) The value you are looking for is in the w:sz="4" attribute. You can convert from w:sz units to pts by dividing by 8.

So, in the example given, <w:top w:sz="4"> means that the top line of the given cell has a .25 pt line width.

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That does sound like a complicated way! LOL Thanks everyone for the input, it's much appreciated. I'm really just surprised that I can't click the line and have it reveal the formatting (like it would with text) and while I'd like to ensure they're consistent, I'll find a workaround I'm sure. :) –  Anna Jun 20 '12 at 0:10

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