I've got a word document that uses independent tables to control layout. For example:

|     Table 1     |
|     Table 2     |
|     Table 3     |

Where Table 1 will have some text and formatting, Table 2 will have some text and formatting, etc. The Tables borders are without lines (transparent?), so it looks like well laid out text.

I need to copy/paste a table in between Table 1 and Table 2. However, Word is not showing me the elements or their outlines. The lack of elements means I can't get a proper "selection" (for copy), and the lack of outlines means I can't position the caret for the insertion (for paste).

I've tried various Layout types from the View menu (for example, Web Layout, Print Layout, Outline, Master Document, Markup), but I can't get a good representation of the document's elements. About all I get is an occasional blue dot and marks to indicate the ENTER key was pressed.

Here's the relevant OS/Word info: Mac OS X 10.8.5 and Word for Mac 2011 version 14.3.9 (131030).

How does one show the elements in a Word document?


I think you are wanting to view the table structure, even though it has no borders - is that correct?

To do this, in the Table Tools section of the Ribbon, go the the Layout tab, and then select View Gridlines.

This will make the borders of the table appear visible to you, although they won't print.

  • Its not enough to view the border (though that would be helpful). I need to be able to select the table and copy it. Hence the reason I want to see the table as an element, and not just its borders. On Windows, I seem to recall a square appears above and left of the table (and it can be used for copy operations). I can't get the square to show on Mac OS X. – jww Apr 11 '14 at 0:45
  • 1
    Hm, I'm not familiar with Word on Mac OS X. How about right clicking in the table and choosing Select > Table? – Garrulinae Apr 11 '14 at 1:36

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