Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Getting Rid of Background Color in All Tables.

Getting Rid of Background Color in All Tables

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 31, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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 methods 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 the Quick Access Toolbar or to a shortcut key.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11022) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word 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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