In Word I have a table with another table in one of its cells however the nested table is missing its top border.

enter image description here

How can I make it appear? I do have all the borders switched on for the nested table.

Update from 2017

This question was asked in 2012, but the issue is still here in Word 2016. It was recently submitted as a bug on Word's Uservoice: https://word.uservoice.com/forums/304924-word-for-windows-desktop-application/suggestions/32505451-bug-missing-top-bottom-borders-in-nested-tables. "Upvotes" for this bug are welcome as well as answers here.

4 Answers 4

  1. Add a blank line inside the container cell, before/on top of the inner table.

  2. Select the inner table and ensure the All Borders option is selected (see screenshot below):

Word 2010 table borders

Edit: I see you've already done step 2. See if step 1 fixes it.


It appears to be cut off by the margin setting of the main table. There are a couple things you can do.

  1. Increase the row height of the main table until it is no longer cut off.
  2. Change the table properties of the main table to decrease the cell margins. You can get to this by selecting the table, RIGHT click, then choose Table Properties > Options.... Decrease the top and bottom margins to 0.

enter image description here

  • Thanks but neither of these seem to fix it.
    – Si Keep
    Sep 19, 2012 at 13:17
  • @SiKeep a little late to the game, however, I had the same issue - the reasoning is there, it is because of the margin in the parent table. You can simply adjust the height of the table row manually and you will see it appear
    – Adjit
    Aug 23, 2016 at 18:35

A workaround that I found when using Word 2016 :

Select the entire table, go to Table Properties > Borders and Shading, and change the line width to 1 point instead of the default 1/2 point.

  • Yes, I also use this workaround. However, it looks very ugly after export to PDF.
    – john c. j.
    Dec 4, 2017 at 21:00

Right click the inner table -> Table Properties -> Borders and Shading

Set the top border's style to a double line:

enter image description here

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