Finding and Replacing Table Cell Color

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 9, 2017)

2

Jim knows how to use advanced Find and Replace to change font color globally throughout a document. Recently he wanted to do the same with the background shading of table cells. He wonders if there is a way to use Find and Replace to change the color of table cells.

Unfortunately there is no way to do this—backgrounds in table cells are not findable or replaceable with the Find and Replace tool. The closest way to do this would be to define a special style that can be applied to the text within the table cells, and then you could use Find and Replace to locate the style and make changes. (Of course, you could make changes directly to the style definition itself.) This, however, doesn't affect the cell background; it only affects the text within the cell.

If you are satisfied changing the background color manually, you might try this to see if it speeds up the changes:

  1. Select the first cell you want to shade and apply the desired shading to that cell.
  2. With the cell still selected, press Ctrl+Shift+C. This variation on the copy shortcut copies just the formatting from the selected item (the cell).
  3. Select all the other cells in the table that you want to shade the same way. (The cells don't need to be contiguous. You can build the selection set by holding down the Ctrl key as you add or remove cells from the set.)
  4. Press Ctrl+Shift+V. This variation on the paste shortcut pastes just the formatting.

The result is that you've now applied the background shading to all the cells you wanted, without the need to format each cell individually.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (4316) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Repeating the First Column of a Table

Need the first column of a table to be repeated on multiple pages? You can't do it automatically in Word, but you can use ...

Discover More

Quickly Formatting Multiple Documents

Need to format a bunch of documents so they all look the same? If the documents use styles, doing the formatting is ...

Discover More

Allowing Only Form Field Changes

Word allows you to create forms that other people can use to enter information. One of the last steps normally taken with ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Removing HTTP from URLs

Having problems when it comes to replacing information in URLs? You're not the only one; it can be confusing making mass ...

Discover More

Finding Quoted Text in VBA

Macros are created for all sorts of purposes in creating, editing, and processing documents. You might want to use a ...

Discover More

Changing Decimal Commas to Decimal Points

If you have a document that was produced in a country where decimal commas are used instead of decimal points, you may be ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 2?

2017-09-10 23:28:31

Caran

This tip seems to be a rather roundabout way to do it. My suggestion would be to select the cell you want to shade, apply the desired shading, then click in the next cell to shade and press F4 (to repeat the last action). No need to fuss with selecting a bunch of cells and then applying the shading!


2017-09-09 06:14:34

Diana van den Berg

I tried Finding and the Replacing Table Cell Colour, but it didn't work for me. It didn't paste anything. I have Word 2010 and Windows 7 Professional.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.