How to Change Table Color in Word 2013: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the color of a table in Word 2013 is a quick and easy task that can enhance the look of your document. Simply select the table you wish to modify, navigate to the “Design” tab, pick a color from the “Shading” menu, and voila, your table has a new color.

After completing this action, your table will stand out, making it easier for readers to focus on the data presented. It’s also a great way to organize information and make your document look more professional.


When it comes to document formatting, Microsoft Word 2013 offers a plethora of options to make your content shine. One such feature is the ability to change the color of tables within your document. But why is this so important? Well, for starters, the visual appeal of your document goes a long way in maintaining the reader’s attention. It’s not just about the words on the page; it’s also about how they’re presented.

Tables are a fantastic way to present data in a clear and concise manner. However, a bland table can easily get lost in a sea of text. By changing the table color, you create a visual break that can make your data pop, emphasize important information, and add a touch of personality to your document. This feature is particularly relevant to individuals who regularly work with reports, academic papers, or any document that requires data presentation. Let’s dive into the steps to give your tables the eye-catching quality they deserve.

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing Table Color in Word 2013

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, know that the forthcoming steps will guide you through the process of giving your tables a color makeover.

Step 1: Select the Table

Click on the table that you want to change the color of.

Selecting the table is the first step because you need to tell Word which part of your document you want to modify. Make sure you click inside the table to activate the table tools.

Step 2: Open the Design Tab

Once your table is selected, go to the “Design” tab on the ribbon.

The “Design” tab will appear under “Table Tools” on the ribbon when a table is selected. This is where all the magic happens for table customization.

Step 3: Choose a Table Style or Shading

In the “Table Styles” group, click “Shading” and choose a color from the palette.

The “Shading” button allows you to fill the cells of your table with color. You can choose from a wide array of colors to find the perfect one for your needs.


Enhanced ReadabilityApplying a distinct color to a table can improve the readability of the data. It separates the table from the surrounding text, making it easier on the eyes.
Organizational ClarityColor-coding tables can serve as a visual cue for organizing information. It helps in differentiating between various sections or categories within a document.
Aesthetically PleasingLet’s face it, documents with a bit of color look better. It adds a professional touch and can make your work stand out in a pile of monochrome pages.


Overdoing ItOveruse of colors can be distracting. It’s important to strike a balance so that the document remains professional and not too busy or garish.
Printing ConcernsIf you’re printing your document, keep in mind that colored tables will use more ink, and not all printers reproduce colors accurately.
Accessibility IssuesSome colors may not be suitable for colorblind readers, so it’s essential to choose colors that are accessible to all readers.

Additional Information

While changing the table color in Word 2013 is a straightforward task, there are a few additional tips that can take your table formatting to the next level. For instance, consider using complementary colors for your tables to maintain a consistent theme throughout your document. Also, remember that the shading option isn’t just for solid colors; you can also apply gradients, textures, or even pictures as a background to your table.

Another useful feature is the “Borders” option located next to the “Shading” option in the “Design” tab. This allows you to change the color, width, and style of the table borders, giving you even more control over the look of your table. When changing table color in Word 2013, always keep your audience in mind, ensuring that the color choices you make enhance the document’s readability and aesthetic appeal.


  1. Select the table.
  2. Navigate to the “Design” tab.
  3. Click “Table Styles” group.
  4. Click “Shading” and choose a color.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply different colors to specific cells within a table?

Yes, you can apply different colors to individual cells or groups of cells by selecting them before choosing a color in the “Shading” menu.

Will changing the table color affect how it prints?

It might, depending on your printer’s capabilities and settings. Always preview your document before printing to ensure it looks as intended.

Can I save a custom table color to use again later?

Yes, after selecting a custom color, you can save it as a new style in the “Table Styles” group for future use.

Is there a way to apply color to alternating rows or columns?

Yes, Word has built-in table styles that automatically apply color to alternating rows or columns, commonly referred to as “banded” rows or columns.

What if I don’t like the new color I’ve applied?

No problem! You can always undo the change by pressing Ctrl + Z or by selecting a new color from the “Shading” menu.


Changing table color in Word 2013 is a small but mighty way to enhance the visual impact of your documents. Whether you’re aiming to improve readability, organize information, or simply make your document more visually appealing, this feature is a simple yet effective tool at your disposal.

Remember to use colors responsibly, considering readability, printing, and accessibility. So go ahead, give your tables some color love; your documents—and your readers—will thank you for it.

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