Microsoft Word

Table Borders and Shading

Learn how to apply shading and borders to individual cells, rows, columns, or to an entire table:

Shading Cells, Rows Columsns or Table

You can apply shading to individual cells, rows, columns, or to an entire table:

  1. Select cells, rows, or columns that you want to apply shade.
  2. Click Shading drop-down in the Table Styles group of the Design tab.
  3. Move the mouse pointer over a color to preview it on the selection.
  4. Click on a color to apply it on the selection.
Apply Shading

Themes Color Vs. Standard Colors

You’ll see two color groups when you click the Shading button: Theme Color and Standard Colors. Theme colors automatically update whenever you apply a new theme to the document. Choose Standard Colors or More Colors options if you don’t want to change the color when a new theme is applied.

Table Borders

Apply, modify or remove border formatting on a cell, row, column, or the entire table. Use the Border Styles, Line Style, Line Weight, Pen Color, Borders tools, and Border Painter commands in the Table Design tab of Table Tools, as shown in the following figure:

Use the border formatting tools to change the table borders.
  1. Border Styles
    The borders style gallery.
  2. Border Sampler
    Copy border formatting to apply it elsewhere.
  3. Line Style
    Select a different line style format to replace the current borders.
  4. Line Weight
    Change the line weight, for example, one and a half point.
  5. Pen Color
    Change the border color by picking the desired color.
  6. Borders
    Add or remove the borders on the selection. For example, choose No Border if you don’t to show the table borders.
  7. Border Painter
    Apply a border style, line style, line weight or color to any line you click on inside the table.

Apply a border style

Apply a border style to the entire table
  1. Select the cell, row, column, or entire table to apply borders.
  2. Click the Table Design tab
  3. Click the Border Styles button and choose a style in the gallery.
  4. Click the Line Style, Line Weight, Pen Color, etc. for further formatting.
  5. Click the Borders drop-down button, and then click All Border options to apply borders to the entire selection.

Border Painter

Select border options from the “Table Tools > Table Design > Border group” and then use the Border Painter tool to draw in individual borders:

Using Border Painter
  1. Click the Table Design sub-tab on the Table Tools tab.
  2. Choose a line style from the Line Style drop-down menu.
  3. Choose thickness from the Line Weight drop-down menu.
  4. Choose border color from the Pen Color drop-down menu.
  5. Click the Border Painter icon if it is not selected automatically.
  6. Drag mouse pointer over the table borders to paint those borders in the selected style, weight, and color.

Using Border Sampler to copy border formatting

Use Border Sampler option to copy border formatting
  1. Click the Table Design sub-tab on the Table Tools tab.
  2. Click the Border Styles drop-down menu.
  3. Click Border Sampler option.
  4. The mouse pointer converts to eyedropper.
  5. Move the eyedropper to an existing table.
  6. Click on the table’s border to copy its formatting.
  7. Use the Border Painter command to apply copied formatting to other borders.

Border and Shading dialog box

Borders and Shading dialog box

You can also use the Borders and Shading dialog box to apply and customize the borders and shading on a table:

  1. Select the Table.
  2. Click Table Design tab, move mouse pointer to Borders group, and click dialog box launcher icon.
  3. In the Borders and Shading dialog box, make changes according to your requirements.
  4. Select Table from the Apply to drop-down menu.
  5. Click OK to apply changes.

We’ll discuss the Border and Shading dialog box in detail later.

More “Working with Word Tables” Tutorials

  1. Insert Tables
  2. Insert and Delete Rows, Columns and Cells
  3. Wrap text around the table
  4. Table Borders and Shading
  5. Select Table, View Gridlines, Use Table Properties
  6. Resize tables, rows, columns, and cells
  7. Repeat heading rows on next pages
  8. Break, Split & Merge Cells, Rows, and Tables
  9. Set Table & Cell Alignment and Change Text Direction
  10. Use Formula in Tables and Paragraphs