I have some empty cells in a table and I want to fill those with some sort of pattern to express that it is supposed to be empty (something more elegant than filling it with a ---). I have been googling for a while but I only find ways to fill with solid colors, I'd like to use a pattern of parallel diagonal lines, like the picture below, or something similar.

I know how to fill other shapes, but I was wondering if there was something similar for tables.

enter image description here


To use a hatch in Word.

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to change
  2. Right click and select Boarders and Shading
  3. Click on the Shading tab
  4. Under Patterns open the Style drop down and pick the hatch you want. The hatches are after the transparency settings.
  5. In the Apply To: box select Cell

Border and Shading Box


I use diagonal lines across the cell to indicate is was not used.

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to change
  2. Right click and select Boarders and shading
  3. Change the Apply to: to Cell
  4. Click the diagonal boarder button
  5. Click OK

enter image description here

Results in a diagonal line through the cell. You can change the type of line and pattern to your liking.

enter image description here

  • Thank you for your reply. I am looking for something more complex, my bad for not being clear. I have edited the original question with an example, maybe you know how it could be done? – user2891462 Feb 11 '15 at 0:05
  • Yes, those details would have been good to know when I answered. You are looking for the fill format for the cells which is on the Shading tab of the window above. Click the Style: drop down and scroll to the bottom to select the pattern you want. – CharlieRB Feb 11 '15 at 1:13

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