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Set Line Style for Table Borders in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to set line style for table borders in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. Line styles also include dash styles.

The borders for tables that you create within PowerPoint are thin lines by default. You can change the thickness of these borders, but even before you do so, there are certain prerequisites to take care of. First of all, if you use Table Styles, then some borders may have been set to be invisible. So first of course, you need to set them to be visible since there's no sense in thickening an invisible border. Once borders are visible, you can make changes to their appearance such as changing their color, line style, or the thickness of the table borders.

We will now explore how you can make table borders sport dashed or dotted lines instead of simple thin lines in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac:

Change the Line Style of Existing Table Borders:

Let us start with changing the line style of borders within existing tables:

  1. Open your presentation and navigate to the slide where your table is located and select it. Make sure that the borders within this table are set to be visible. Access the Tables tab highlighted in red within Figure 1) of the Ribbon. Within this tab, click the Line Style button (highlighted in blue within Figure 1).

  2. Figure 1: Line Style button
  3. This opens the Line Style pop up menu containing various line style options for the table borders, and also a No Border option on top, as shown in Figure 2.

  4. Figure 2: Line Style pop up menu


  5. Avoid selecting the No Border option (highlighted in red within Figure 2, above) within the Line Style pop up menu. This option is same as toggling the visibility of table borders. When you select this option, even though your mouse cursor sports a Pencil icon, it hides the table border clicked upon. To select any other line style for your table border, just click on the chosen style. The selected style sports a tick mark in front of it, as shown in Figure 2, above.
  6. Now the Draw button (highlighted in red within Figure 3) will be selected as a direct result of the cursor turning into a Pencil, as shown in Figure 3 (highlighted in blue). You should be able to see your table border line style, as shown highlighted in green within Figure 3. Click this cursor carefully on a segment of the border between two cells (refer to Figure 3 again).

  7. Figure 3: Cursor changed to a Pencil icon
  8. Note: Make sure you do not click anywhere other than over a table border segment. Otherwise you may end up creating new cells! If that happens, press + Z to undo immediately.
  9. This will change the style of the border segment to the line style that you selected earlier within the Line Style pop up menu, as shown in Figure 4 (compare with Figure 3).

  10. Figure 4: Border line style changed
  11. Notice that your mouse cursor will continue sporting the Pencil icon. This allows you to continue clicking on all the border segments of the table. Yes, we know this can be cumbersome. We explain a workaround in the box below.
  12. Tip: There is an alternative way to change the line style of the borders on the entire table. After you select any line style within the Line Style pop up menu, click on the down-arrow beside the Border button (highlighted in red within Figure 5). From the resultant drop-down gallery, select the All Borders option (or another suitable option) as shown in Figure 5.

  13. Figure 5: All Borders option to be selected
  14. This changes the line style of table borders on the entire table. To learn more about various Border options, refer to our Toggle Visibility of Table Borders in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial.
  15. Once done, click on the Slide Area outside the table (or just press the Esc key) to change the cursor back to the arrow pointer icon.
  16. Figure 6 shows our sample table with changed line style of border.

  17. Figure 6: Border line style changed for the entire table

Set the Table Border Line Styles for New Tables:

  1. Select a line style for your table borders from the Line Style pop up menu, as explained in Steps 1, 2, and 3 in the preceding section.
  2. Make sure that the Draw button (highlighted in red within Figure 7) is selected and your cursor has changed to a Pencil icon as shown in Figure 7 (highlighted in blue). You should be able to see your table border line style, as shown highlighted in green within Figure 7.

  3. Figure 7: Border line style set for the new table
  4. Draw a table as explained in our Draw Tables in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial. Figure 8 shows our sample table after we finished drawing, and distributed rows and columns.

  5. Figure 8: Table drawn with selected border line style
  6. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Table Borders: Set Line Style for Table Borders in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)

Set Line Style for Table Borders in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows