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: Getting Rid of Background Color in All Tables.

Getting Rid of Background Color in All Tables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 23, 2016)

Debbie receives documents that routinely have multiple tables in them, and those tables are usually shaded with a background color. She has to remove the shading individually, for each table, so she can print the documents correctly. Debbie wonders if there is a way she can get rid of the background colors in one pass.

There are a couple of ways that you could try. First, you could define your own table styles that reflect how you want the tables to appear. Then all you'd need to do is select each table and apply the styles. This method would also have the benefit of being a solution that is "distributable" to others in your organization so that, perhaps, they would format the tables correctly in the first place.

Another way of handling the problem is to create a simple macro that steps through each table and reset the table's shading. Here's an example:

Sub ClearTableBGColor()
    Dim t As Table

    For Each t In ActiveDocument.Tables
        With t.Shading
            .Texture = wdTextureNone
            .ForegroundPatternColor = wdColorAutomatic
            .BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorAutomatic
        End With
    Next
End Sub

You can run the macro at any time and all the tables in the document are affected. If you need to change the formatting for tables in lots of documents, you may want to assign the macro to a toolbar button or to a shortcut key.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11021) 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: Getting Rid of Background Color in All Tables.

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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