How to Make Graph Paper Using MS Word

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Resource developed by Anna Christal, Science Teacher, Royal Blind School and Gareth Peevers, Royal Blind Learning Hub

This screencast will show you how to make a grid using MS word which you can then use as graph paper to create a tactile graph, or chart, to give to your pupils.

The resource will be useful for maths teachers of blind or vision impaired young people. After watching this video you will be able to create graph paper to your own specification in MS word that will be suitable for making a tactile graph or chart.

How to make graph paper in MS Word (05:28)


What I’m going to show you is how to actually make your own grids to your own specification, using the sort of standard Microsoft Word package. So in order to do this, I’ve broken it down into several steps. The first step is to insert a table. So we’re looking to the insert menu and you can see I’ve shown you what comes up when we’re putting in a table. I’ve selected for this particular table eleven columns and eleven rows because I want to make some graph paper that is going to be ten by ten grid squares. Ok. Hopefully that will become clear why I’ve done that as we go through this.

So when you do that what first comes up on the screen is something that doesn’t look particularly useful and what we need to do in step two is to alter the row height and the column width just to make it into standard squares. So what you would do in this is you would go to select the whole table and use table tools menu to select the cell size group. In this example I’m making grid squares that are one point five centimetres by one point five centimetres. Obviously you can adjust that to make them larger or smaller according to the individual needs.

Having done that we then want to adjust or alter the line thickness for the gridlines. So again we’re selecting the whole table and we’re going back to table tools and we’re looking at the design tab and drawing borders. We’re selecting all borders which means that every single square is going to be outlined and I’ve gone for a one point line thickness. So thicker than standard.

Having altered the line thickness for the grid as a whole I now want my axes and tick marks to stand out. Tick marks are the little lines underneath the axes that correspond to the data points and that’s quite useful for our tactile learners in terms of lining up and checking that their reading the right number. So what I would do here is I would be selecting the first column of the table going back to our table tools. Going back to the draw borders group and this time I’m going for a thicker line, so I’ve gone for a three point line thickness. I would then go to again to the table styles group and select all borders and that would hopefully make all that first column a much thicker outlined grid. I would then do exactly the same but this time selecting the last row at the bottom of the table and just making that again all surrounded or outlined in three point line thickness.

So having done that this is hopefully what you have got on the screen. Ok. So I’ve mentioned already that tick marks are quite useful, enabling the pupil to line up the value with the grid line. So here what we’re going to do is, we’re going to select a shape. So we’ve gone to the insert menu and we’re selecting shapes and I’m selecting a rectangular shape which I’m going to use to hide half of that first column. So you drag it and lengthen it so it covers half that first column. Then I’m going to repeat that to hide half of the last row. We’ve got up on the screen there two rectangles hiding that first column and that last row. Now, as usual, it has used those, they’ve come sort of with the auto colour and auto outline, so the next step is to basically hide that shape. So we’re going to the drawing tools. We’re going format and we’re looking at shape styles. In order to hide the grid lines underneath that shape, I’m choosing white for my shape fill and to make sure we don’t have any outline I’ve chosen no outline. And what we then should have is something that looks like this. We’ve got one point five by one point five grid squares with thick axes and tick marks and that’s a good starting point to then create either a bar chart or a line graph or some sort of standard graph that you would find on graph paper.

Learn More

Watch our video in the Maths section: Tactile Graphics: Graphs and Charts.

Read more about: Making Tactile Diagrams.

Free online graph paper / grid paper PDFs (opens in new window).

Last modified: Wednesday, 10 January 2018, 4:56 PM