Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Applying Consistent Shading to a Table.

Applying Consistent Shading to a Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 27, 2015)

If you need to work with documents from other Word users, you may have a need to change the formatting that is applied to tables within those documents. For instance, you may need all tables to have 10% shading applied. Applying the shading over and over again can be tedious, however.

There are a couple of things you can do to speed up your formatting task. If you don't have many tables to process, then you will appreciate these steps:

  1. Select a table cell that doesn't have any shading.
  2. Display the Borders and Shading dialog box. (Choose Borders and Shading from the Format menu.)
  3. Make sure the Shading tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Shading tab of the Borders and Shading dialog box.

  5. Choose the color and percentage (Style) you want used for the cell.
  6. Click OK to accept the formatting. It is applied to the cell.
  7. Put the insertion point inside any cell of a table, but don't select the entire cell.
  8. Press F4. Word applies the last action (the shading) to the entire table.
  9. Repeat steps 6 and 7 for any other tables you want to format.

If you have many, many tables you want to format, you might want to create a macro to do the shading for you. The following simple macro steps through each table in a document and applies the 10% shading.

Sub TableShading()
    For Each aTable In ActiveDocument.Tables
    aTable.Shading.Texture = wdTexture10Percent
    Next aTable
End Sub

There are other approaches you can take, as well. (Word is nothing, if not flexible.) For instance, you could create a table style that could be applied to your tables, or you could create an AutoFormat for your tables.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3920) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Applying Consistent Shading to a Table.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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