PDF: Table borders not showingJune 27, 2014
In the past few days, I’ve had several calls or emails from work colleagues about some table border lines not displaying in a PDF created from a Word document. This only happens on some tables, not all, and only for some horizontal borders, not all. I recall this issue from many years ago, and searching Google (see the links below) shows that it’s been around since at least 2004!
- The table in Word still has all its borders.
- The same table in the PDF is missing one or more horizontal borders – perhaps the top border of the table, or the bottom border where the table breaks across the page to the next page.
Invariably, it’s not Word that’s at fault here, but the PDF and how it displays. You can prove this by:
- printing the PDF page the table is on – it usually prints fine, with all borders intact
- zooming in on the PDF (e.g. 400% or more) – you’ll see the border, proving that it’s there.
I tried some of the simpler suggested solutions in those links and found one that worked, and that has now worked for those people who contacted me.
NOTE: If you have both Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat X (Standard or Pro) installed, you’ll have to do these steps in BOTH software applications – search for ‘Adobe’ on your Start button to find out which one(s) you have installed.
- Open Adobe Reader and/or Acrobat X Standard/Pro.
- Go to Edit > Preferences.
- Select Page Display on the left.
- Clear the check box for Enhance thin lines (it’s checked by default – you have to turn it off).
- Save your settings.
- Now view the PDF – the missing table borders should now display.
Articles that discuss this table border issue in PDFs:
[Links last checked June 2014]