2 Methods to Alternate Row or Column Colors in Your Word Table

In this article, we will introduce 2 methods for you to alternate row or column colors in your Word table.

When it comes to a long table, we always find it pretty tiresome to stare at those numbers and try so hard not to make a mistake. But now, we have 2 awesome ways to deal with such an issue that is to apply different colors for odd and even rows or columns. Following are details:

Method 1: Create a New Table Style

  1. Firstly, select the entire target table.
  2. Then, click “Design” tab under “Table Tools”.
  3. Go to “Table Style Options” group to check options first. For example, we should choose “Header Rows”, “Banded Rows” and “Banded Columns”.Click "Design" ->Check Table Style Options
  4. Next click “More” button in “Table Styles” group.Select Table ->Click "Design" ->Click "More"
  5. And choose “New Table Style” on the drop-down menu.Choose" New Table Style"
  6. Next, in “Creating New Style from Formatting” dialog box, name the new style first.

Note: In the following example, we will demonstrate the way to set different colors for odd and even rows. And the same way can be employed to alter column color.

  1. Then, choose “Header row” for “Apply formatting to”.
  2. And click “Format” button on the left down side.
  3. Choose “Borders and Shading”.Name the New Style ->Choose "Header row" for "Applying formatting to" ->Click "Format" ->Choose "Borders and Shading"
  4. Now in “Borders and Shading” dialog box, fist click “Borders” to choose whatever setting you need.
  5. Then click “Shading” and choose a color for “Fill”.
  6. Next, click “OK”.Set Borders ->Click "Shading" ->Choose a Color for "Fill" Field ->Click "OK"
  7. Now you are back to “Creating New Style from Formatting” dialog box, choose “Odd banded rows” for “Apply formatting to”.
  8. Then repeat from step 7 to 11.
  9. Again, in “Creating New Style from Formatting” dialog box, this time you choose “Even banded rows”.
  10. And repeat from step 7 to 11, too.
  11. Now, you can choose a storage location for the new style, by selecting either “Only in this document” or “New documents based on this template”.
  12. Lastly, click “OK”.Choose a Storage Location for the New Style ->Click "OK"


Now you can find the new style in “Table Styles” gallery. Select the table and choose the style, then you will have it on your table. And when you insert a row into the table, the color of other rows will change accordingly.

For changing column colors, you should choose “Odd banded columns” and “Even banded columns” in “Apply formatting to”. And then take the exact same steps to accomplish your mission.Alternate Column Colors

After colors are set to columns, you may find all table borders missing. Just choose “All Borders” in “Borders”.

Method 2: Insert an Excel Spreadsheet

  1. To begin with, open Word, and place cursor where the table goes.
  2. Next, click “Insert” tab.
  3. Then click “Table” option.
  4. And on the drop-down menu, choose “Excel Spreadsheet”.Click "Insert" ->Click "Table" ->Choose "Excel Spreadsheet"
  5. Now select the entire sheet and make sure that “Home” tab is displayed.
  6. Then, click “Conditional Formatting”.
  7. And choose “Manage Rules” option.Select the Sheet ->Click "Home" ->Click "Conditional Formatting" ->Choose "Manage Rules"
  8. Now in “Conditional Formatting Rules Manager” dialog box, choose “This Worksheet” for “Show formatting rules for”.
  9. Then choose “New Rule”.Choose "This Worksheet" ->Click "New Rule"
  10. In dialog box of “New Formatting Rule”, choose “Use a formula to determine which cells to format” for rule type.
  11. Then enter “=MOD(ROW(),2)=1” in “Format values where this formula is true” text box. This is to format odd rows.
  12. Next click “Format”.Select a Rule Type ->Enter Formula -> Click "Format"
  13. The “Format Cells” dialog box will pop up. Click “Border” first to choose necessary borders.
  14. Then click “Fill”, and choose a background color.
  15. Next, click “OK” in both “Format Cells” and “New Formatting Rule” dialog boxes.Choose Necessary Borders ->Click "Fill" ->Choose a Color ->Click "OK"
  16. Now go back to “Conditional Formatting Rules Manager” dialog box, and repeat step 8, 9, 10.
  17. Then enter “=MOD(ROW(),2)=0” in “Format values where this formula is true” text box to format even rows.
  18. And repeat from step 12 to 15.
  19. Finally, click “OK” in “Conditional Formatting Rules Manager” dialog box.A Colored Excel Sheet

Still, if you need to alternate column color, you should change the formulas as “=MOD(COLUMN(),2)=1” and “=MOD(COLUMN(),2)=0”.Alternate Column Colour

You can directly edit on Excel sheet or paste a Word table there.

Alter Header Row Color

  1. Firstly, select header row and repeat step 6, 7, 8.
  2. Only in “New Formatting Rule” dialog box, you need to choose “Format only unique or duplicate values” for rule type.
  3. And choose “Unique” for “Format all”.Choose "Format only unique or duplicate values" ->Choose "Unique" for "Format all" ->Click "Format"
  4. Then repeat from step 12 to 15 and step 19.Change Header Row Color

Comparison of 2 Methods

Methods Advantages Disadvantages
Method 1: Create a New Table Style You can save this table style as a template to use   next time. You can’t set different colors for every 2 rows.
Method 2: Insert an Excel Spreadsheet You can use formula to set colors for whatever cells you select. You can use the style only once.

Deal with the Imminent Failure of Computer Program

Users of all kinds of digital devices are aware of the incremental crushes of programs installed. And for many people, we have the possibility of encountering with Word collapse. A damaged word can surely cause a lot trouble. One of the best ways to undermine it is to take routine backups both online and off-site. So you can turn to the latest version even if Word gets corrupted due to accident user errors.

Author Introduction:

Vera Chen is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including damaged Excel data fix and pdf repair software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com

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