How To Add Shading to a Table in Word 2003

You can visually enhance tables in your Word 2003 document by adding shading to specific cells, rows or columns. This is part of the many features that you use under the Table function of the Microsoft Word application.

  1. Select the cell, rows or columns for shading. Bring the mouse pointer over the cell you want to add shading. You'll see the mouse pointer transform into a small black arrow slanted to the right. Click once and the chosen cell will be highlighted (filled black actually). Click twice to highlight the whole row to which the chosen cell belongs to. You can also bring the mouse pointer to the top edge of a column. The mouse pointer will transform this time into a black arrow pointing downward. Click once and the whole column will be highlighted. If you want to select/highlight the whole table, you can bring the mouse pointer anywhere over the table until the Table move handle appears. This is a small square with a cross made of arrows attached to the uppermost left corner of the table. Click once on the Table move handle and the whole table will be selected.
  2. Go to Table Properties. With the appropriate cell, rows or columns selected, you can now click on 'Table' on the menu bar. From the drop down list that will appear choose Table Properties. This will open the Table Properties window which contains all the possible modification features you can employ on the table. Alternatively, you can simply right click after selecting/highlighting the cell, row or column. The Table Properties option will be at the bottom of the right-click menu that will appear.
  3. Click on Borders and Shading. The Table Properties window has four tabs: Table, Row, Column and Cell. The Borders and Shading button is located near the bottom of the Table tab. Click on this button to open the Borders and Shading window. Now this window has three tabs: Borders, Page border and Shading. Pull up the Shading tab.
  4. Choose the color of the shading and its pattern style. The Shading tab contains the options that modify the appearance of the shading you wish to apply. The first of this is naturally color. There are already several colors presented in a grid and you can simply click on one to select it. If the particular hue you're looking for is not there, you can click on the 'More Colors…' button beside the grid. The Colors window will appear and here you can choose from more color options. Below the color grid is the section labeled Patterns. 'Style' is one of two drop-down lists in this section. Click on the Style drop-down list to see the various options for setting the color strength as well as the possible texture patterns. Color strength ranges from Solid 100% to 5% and this is the first part of the drop-down list. Scroll down further to find the various texture patterns such as dark horizontal lines or light pointed patterns. After choosing a color and/or setting the pattern style, click on OK on the Borders and Shading and then on Table Properties window. You'll see on your document's table the shading applied on the selected cell, row or column.

Besides shading, you can also modify the table's borders or change the font color of the inputted text in the table.


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