Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Formatting Lots of Tables.
Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 13, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016
Word includes a very powerful table editor that allows you to make short work of presenting tables in your documents. To quickly format a table, you can use Word's Table AutoFormat feature if you so desire.
Even though the Table AutoFormat feature is great, it doesn't provide optimal formatting for all users. It is not unusual to need entirely different table formatting than what is available with AutoFormat. If you have many tables to format, and the formatting of your tables is complex, you may be longing for the ability to add your own table formats to Word.
There are ways you can lighten your table-formatting burdens, however. All you need to do is use the following features of Word.
How you mix and match these features to achieve your goals is up to you. (How you use each of these features has been the focus of considerable time in past issues of WordTips.) With a bit of careful preparation and planning, you can easily automate and cut your table formatting tasks down to size.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12325) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Formatting Lots of Tables.
Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!
When pasting text from another document or from the Web you can have unexpected characters sometimes show up. Many of ...Discover More
When you insert a table into your document, it uses a standard-weight line around each cell in the table. If you want to ...Discover More
Placing information in your table is only half the battle. You also need to figure out the best ways to format that ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.
Visit the WordTips channel on YouTube