Graph Paper in Word: How to Create and Use Custom Grids

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By Matthew Simpson

Ever found yourself in need of graph paper but didn’t have any around? Or maybe you’re working on a project and need a specific size or color of graph paper that isn’t readily available at the store. Well, fear not! You can easily create your own graph paper in Microsoft Word. In just a few simple steps, you’ll have customizable graph paper at your fingertips.

How to Create Graph Paper in Word

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about what we’re going to accomplish. We’re going to use Microsoft Word to create a grid that mimics graph paper. This can be used for math homework, design projects, or any other activity that requires precision and organization.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word

Open up your Microsoft Word program on your computer.

Starting with the basics, you’ll need to have Microsoft Word installed on your computer. If you don’t have it yet, you can purchase it through the Microsoft Office suite or get a subscription to Office 365.

Step 2: Open a Blank Document

Create a new blank document to start your graph paper.

Once you have Word open, you’ll want to start with a clean slate. Click on the ‘File’ menu, select ‘New,’ then choose ‘Blank Document.’ Now you’re ready to start creating your graph paper.

Step 3: Access the Table Tool

Click on the ‘Insert’ tab, then click on ‘Table.’

The ‘Table’ tool is where the magic happens. It’s typically used for creating tables for text, but we’ll use it to create our grid. Once you click on ‘Table,’ a drop-down will appear that will allow you to select the size of your grid.

Step 4: Create a Grid

Drag your cursor over the squares to create a grid the size you want.

Think about how large you want your graph paper squares to be. For standard graph paper, a 1/4 inch grid is common, but you can make it as large or as small as you like. Just drag your cursor across the squares until you have the desired number of columns and rows.

Step 5: Adjust Row Height and Column Width

Right-click on your grid, select ‘Table Properties,’ then adjust the height and width to make perfect squares.

The default settings for a table in Word might not give you perfect squares, which is what you typically want for graph paper. By adjusting the row height and column width in the ‘Table Properties,’ you can ensure that each cell in your grid is a perfect square.

Step 6: Format the Table

Use the ‘Design’ and ‘Layout’ tabs to format your table to look like graph paper.

Now it’s time to make it look like actual graph paper. You can add borders to all the cells and change the color if you like. Use the tools under the ‘Design’ and ‘Layout’ tabs to customize your graph paper to your liking.

After you complete these steps, you’ll have a sheet of graph paper ready to use for whatever project or assignment you need. You can print it out, or use it directly in Word to draw or write.

Tips for Creating Graph Paper in Word

  • Use a ruler or a measuring tool to ensure your squares are the size you need.
  • Save your graph paper as a template so you can quickly create more in the future.
  • Experiment with different line colors and weights to make your graph paper unique.
  • Consider adding labels to your axes if you’re using the graph paper for a math-related project.
  • If you’re printing the graph paper, make sure your printer settings are adjusted to print the grid lines clearly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make sure my squares are even?

Adjust the row height and column width in the ‘Table Properties’ to ensure each cell is a perfect square.

Can I save this graph paper to use again later?

Yes, save your document as a template for easy access in the future.

Can I change the color of the grid lines?

Absolutely, use the ‘Design’ tab to customize the color of your grid lines.

Is there a limit to how big I can make my graph paper?

The only limit is the size of your paper if you’re printing, or the size of your document if you’re using it digitally.

Can I use this graph paper in other programs besides Word?

You can copy and paste the grid into other Microsoft Office programs, or save it as an image to use in other software.


  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Create a new blank document.
  3. Access the Table Tool.
  4. Create a grid with the desired number of squares.
  5. Adjust the row height and column width for perfect squares.
  6. Format the table to look like graph paper.


Creating graph paper in Word is a simple and handy skill to have. Whether for personal, educational, or professional use, being able to whip up a custom sheet of graph paper can save you a trip to the store and give you exactly what you need for your project. Plus, with the ability to save your template, you can have graph paper ready at a moment’s notice. Give it a try and see how easy it is to create graph paper that fits your needs perfectly. Happy graphing!