How do I change the border color of a PdfPCell?

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Tags: tablescell bordercolorborder colorborder widthiText 5

I am trying to set border colors of table cells. No matter what I try, the border color is not changing - it's always black! What am I doing wrong? Here's my test code. cell1 should have a red top border and a blue bottom border:

PdfPTable table = new PdfPTable(2);
PdfPCell cell1 = new PdfPCell(new Phrase("Cell 1"));
cell1.setBorderColorTop(new BaseColor(255, 0, 0));
cell1.setBorderColorBottom(BaseColor.BLUE);
table.addCell(cell1);
PdfPCell cell2 = new PdfPCell(new Phrase("Cell 2"));
table.addCell(cell2);
Question posted on StackOverflow on Jan 29, 2016 by Naresh

Please take a look at the ColoredBorder example. I have to admit: there's an inconsistency in iText.

By default, all borders are equal in iText. If you change the color of one border, you have to add an extra line:

cell = new PdfPCell(new Phrase("Cell 1"));
cell.setUseVariableBorders(true);
cell.setBorderColorTop(BaseColor.RED);
cell.setBorderColorBottom(BaseColor.BLUE);

With the setUseVariableBorders() method, we tell iText that the borders aren't equal. As you can see, the colors are now respected:

Different cell border widths and colors
Different cell border widths and colors

Using setUseVariableBorders() isn't necessary if you change the width of a border. In that case, the default is change automatically (this is the inconsistency I mentioned earlier):

cell = new PdfPCell(new Phrase("Cell 2"));
cell.setBorderWidthLeft(5);
cell.setBorderColorLeft(BaseColor.GREEN);
cell.setBorderWidthTop(8);
cell.setBorderColorTop(BaseColor.YELLOW);

As you can see, there are still two black borders in cell 1 and cell 2. We can remove these with the setBorder() method:

cell = new PdfPCell(new Phrase("Cell 3"));
cell.setUseVariableBorders(true);
cell.setBorder(Rectangle.LEFT | Rectangle.BOTTOM);
cell.setBorderColorLeft(BaseColor.RED);
cell.setBorderColorBottom(BaseColor.BLUE);

If you look at cell 2, you see that we have chosen rather thick borders. As a result these borders overlap with the text in the cell. We can avoid this with the setUseBorderPadding() method:

cell.setBorder(Rectangle.LEFT | Rectangle.TOP);
cell.setUseBorderPadding(true);
cell.setBorderWidthLeft(5);
cell.setBorderColorLeft(BaseColor.GREEN);
cell.setBorderWidthTop(8);
cell.setBorderColorTop(BaseColor.YELLOW);

Now the border will be taken into account when calculating the padding.