How to Color Table in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide for Vibrant Documents

Coloring a table in Microsoft Word is a simple yet powerful way to make your documents more attractive and easier to read. By following a few straightforward steps, you can apply background colors to cells, rows, or the entire table, enhancing the visual appeal and clarity of your work.

How to Color a Table in Word

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to color a table in Word to make your documents stand out. Whether you’re preparing a report, a school project, or any other type of document, these steps will help you add some visual flair.

Step 1: Select the Table

The first step is to select the table you want to color.

Click anywhere inside the table, and a small handle with four arrows will appear at the top left corner. Click this handle to select the entire table.

Step 2: Open the Table Design Tab

Next, you need to access the Table Design tab in Word.

After selecting the table, navigate to the top of the window where you will see the "Table Design" tab. Click on it to open the table design options.

Step 3: Choose Shading Color

Now, it’s time to pick your preferred color.

In the Table Design tab, find the "Shading" button. Click on it, and a palette of colors will drop down. Select the color you want for the cells, rows, or the entire table.

Step 4: Apply the Color

With your color chosen, it’s time to apply it.

Once you’ve clicked on the color, it will automatically be applied to the selected cells or the entire table, depending on your initial selection.

Step 5: Customize Specific Cells

For more detailed customization, select specific cells.

If you want to color individual cells differently, click on the specific cell, then go to the "Shading" button and pick your color.

After completing these steps, your table will have the colors you’ve chosen, making it more visually engaging and easier to read.

Tips for Coloring a Table in Word

  • Consistency Matters: Use a consistent color scheme throughout your document to maintain a professional look.
  • Light Colors: Opt for lighter colors if you’re planning to print the document; darker colors can obscure text when printed.
  • Contrast is Key: Ensure there is enough contrast between the text and the background color so the text remains readable.
  • Use the Eyedropper Tool: If you need a specific color that matches other elements in your document, use the eyedropper tool in the Shading color palette.
  • Experiment: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and patterns until you find the perfect look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I color only one cell in a table?

Yes, you can color individual cells by selecting the specific cell and then choosing a color from the Shading menu.

How do I remove the color from a table?

Select the table or cell, go to the Shading button, and choose "No Color" from the palette.

Can I use gradient colors in a table?

Word primarily supports solid colors but you can apply gradient fills using the "Borders and Shading" dialog box for more advanced customization.

Does coloring the table affect printing?

Colors might appear darker when printed, so it’s advisable to use lighter shades for better print results.

Can I save my color settings for future use?

Yes, you can create and save a custom table style with your preferred color settings for future use.


  1. Select the table.
  2. Open the Table Design tab.
  3. Choose Shading color.
  4. Apply the color.
  5. Customize specific cells.


Coloring a table in Word is a fantastic way to improve the readability and appearance of your documents. By following the steps outlined here, you can easily add a splash of color to your tables, making them more engaging and easier to understand. Remember, while adding color can be fun, it’s important to maintain a balance and ensure that your document remains professional and readable.

Experiment with different colors and styles to find what works best for your needs. Whether you’re a student looking to make your project stand out or a professional aiming to create a polished report, mastering the art of coloring tables in Word can significantly enhance the impact of your work.

So go ahead, give it a try, and watch how a little bit of color can transform your tables from plain to spectacular. If you’re looking for more advanced tips, check out the additional features in Word that allow for even greater customization. Happy coloring!