your table easy to read and interesting to look at is what formatting is
all about. You can color the table background. You can color the table's
lines and set the line style and width. Of course, you can format the text
in the table in all the normal ways, too.
The steps below will give you some practice in applying formatting.
More importantly the steps will show you the consequences of formatting
When creating your own tables, take care that your formatting choices
do not make your table's content too hard to read. The choices used below
are not particularly good for reading! They were chosen to make it clear
what happens when you move things around in a table, not for beauty or
Getting your table to work well often means combining cells together, called merging. The steps below will show that splitting cells is not the same
as reversing a merge.
Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Word97-2003
Before you start...
Project 1: Word Basics
Project 2: Auto Tools
Project 3: Brochure
Tables & Borders bar
Step-by-Step: Format a Table
What you will learn:
to format table text
to move rows and columns
Start with: ,
Format Table Text
Select the whole table using the menu.
or click on the
- Change the font to Size = 16 pt.
and Bold using the Formatting bar buttons.
Center Table & Text
You want to center the table horizontally on the page and also to center the text in each cell both horizontally and vertically inside the cell. That's three
different kinds of centering!
- Center table on page:
While the whole
table is selected, click
the Center button on the Formatting toolbar.
The whole table is centered horizontally on the
versions of Word this action would center the text inside each
- Center text in
Click the Align
Center button on the Tables and Borders bar. The cell text is centered both horizontally and vertically inside each cell.
action is not as easy in Word 97. You must do the horizontal and
vertical centering separately.
You will now format the table cells with background color and you
will change the color of the text. When you start moving rows and
columns around later, you will be able to tell better what is going
on because of the colors. We aren't after beauty here!
While all cells are selected, use the Tables and Border bar and the Formatting toolbar to format:
Shading = Red
Font Color =
While the cells are selected, the text is highlighted in the reverse color.
Reformat all the cells that have letters with:
Shading = Blue
Font Color = Black.
can't select all the lettered cells at once.)
Select the second cell in the middle row,
which contain the letter E. Be
careful to select the whole cell and not just the letter E.
- Reformat cell E with:
Shading = Violet
Font Color = White.
It is better to do any moving before you start changing the formatting. Sometimes the formatting will go along with the cell, but sometimes it doesn't. You can make yourself a lot of work by doing things in the wrong order.
- Select the middle row. (Be sure to
catch the end of row mark, too.)
pointer over the first cell in the selected row, which contains the letter A, until the pointer changes to
. Yes, the direction of the arrow
Drag up until
the cursor shows in the first cell in the table (which contains a 1), then drop.
The middle row
(blue and violet backgrounds) moves up and becomes the first row. The
formatting stayed with all the cells this time.
Select the second column, which now has E in the top cell.
Move the pointer over the cell containing an E until it changes to
the selection shape.
Drag to the right until the cursor shows beside the end-of-row mark for the first row and drop. The whole column moves to the right
side of the table.
The shading in the column changed to
match the row. This is an example of why you should wait to format
a table until all the rows and columns are set.
Unexpected things can happen!
You lost the vertical
centering. Very strange!
Restore the centering by clicking
Select the last column.
- Click on
the Merge Cells
button in the Tables and Borders bar.
The contents of all three cells become
separate paragraphs in the combined cell. The cell background is
the same as the top cell in the column, but the paragraphs kept their own text formatting. Is this getting complicated??
- While the column is still
selected, click on
the Split Cells button on the Tables and Borders bar.
In the Cells Split dialog, set:
Merge cells before
Click on OK
to close the dialog.
You are back to three
cells in the last column. But the text stayed in the top
cell. So, Split Cells is not the same as Undoing the merge.
If you create more than one column with
your Split, the cell contents are divided between the columns. Why
not with rows??? I don't have a clue!
Open the Header and type your name, 2 spaces, the date, TAB, from the
menu | | , TAB, Word Project
- Check Print Preview. Make corrections if needed.
Save on your Class disk as table3.doc .
How to handle a full disk
- Print in black and
white. How did your red and blue come out?
How about the text? This illustrates the problem of
colored illustrations printed in black and