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Word document shows as graph paper grid

If you open a new Word document, it should appear as a blank page. But sometimes, this blank Word document shows as a graph paper grid, which seems impossible to remove. The most obvious reason is that the gridlines or the drawing grid are enabled. But what should you do if your blank document still looks like graph paper? There are several ways to remove this graph paper effect. So, let’s see how to get rid of a graph paper grid in Word.

Remove graph paper grid

First, we need to understand what the reason could be that the graph effect has occurred. Let’s check whether the gridlines or the drawing grid in your Word document are enabled.

Turn gridlines off

Maybe you have enabled the gridlines in your Word document without being aware of it. So, follow the steps below to turn the gridlines off.

  • Go to the View tab
  • In the Show group > remove the tick in front of Gridlines

If there is no tick in the box, then leave it clear.

Word document View gridlines

There is another way of removing the gridlines.

  • Go to the Layout tab
  • In the Arrange group > Click on Align
  • Remove the tick in front of View Gridlines > Click on View Gridlines

If the selection did not show a tick in front of View Gridlines, then don’t change anything.

blank document looks like graph paper. align view gridlines

Turn the drawing grid off

Let’s find out if you have turned the drawing grid on in your Word document. Follow the steps below to turn the drawing grid off.

  • Go to the Layout tab
  • In the Arrange group > Click on Align
  • This will open a selection > Click on Grid settings
Get rid of graph paper in Word. Align grid settings

The Grid and Guides dialog box opens up. Here you should uncheck the boxes under the group Show grid.

Clear these two options:

  1. Display gridlines on screen
  2. Snap objects to grid when the gridlines are not displayed
  • Then click on OK

If the drawing grid was already disabled, the problem could be related to a background image.

Get rid of graph paper in Word. Display gridlines on screen.

Clear all background image

There is no problem with the style or formatting, but it could be related to a background image.

Follow the steps below to clear any background image in Word 2007 or Word 2010.

  • Click on the Page Layout tab
  • In the Page Background group > Click on Page Color
  • It will open a color palette > Select No Color

Clear the background image for Word 2013 or Word 2016

  • Click on the Design tab in the ribbon
  • In the Page Background group > Click on Page Color
  • Select > No Color
blank document looks like graph paper

Rename the Normal template file

If the graph paper grid is still visible, it could be due to some settings stored in your Normal template.

  • First, you should close your Word document.
  • Then search for the Normal template file in Windows
  • Rename the file to, e.g. NewBegin.dotx
  • Open Word again

If this solves your issue, the settings changed in your Normal template. After that, you can make a new Normal template file in Word.

Turn add-ons off

If you still have not been able to get rid of the graph paper grid in your Word document, then check your add-ons. You may have installed add-ons that could interfere with your Word document. Please turn the add-ons off and restart Word.

Read more about how to remove hyphens in your Word document.

Conclusion

We hope these solutions have helped you remove the graph paper effect in your Word document. Remember to disable the gridlines and drawing grid. If the blank document still looks like graph paper, try to clear the background image. If your Word document shows as a graph paper grid, check your normal template settings or turn off all the add-ons.

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