Software & Apps MS Office How to Apply Background Colors to Tables in Word Color fill a table by James Marshall Writer James Marshall is a pro journalist who covers technology and computer troubleshooting. He is also skilled with Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, and other word processors. our editorial process James Marshall Updated on January 24, 2020 reviewed by Ryan Perian Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Ryan Perian is a certified IT specialist who holds numerous IT certifications and has 12+ years' experience working in the IT industry support and management positions. our review board Article reviewed on May 10, 2020 Ryan Perian MS Office Word Excel Powerpoint Outlook Tweet Share Email In Microsoft Word, you can apply a background color to an entire table or to specific portions of a table. This is helpful when you want to highlight a part of a table. For example, if you’re working with sales figures, apply a different color to a column, row, or cell that contains totals. Sometimes, using tinted rows or columns makes a complex table easier to read. Lifewire / Kyle Fewel Instructions in this article apply to Microsoft Word for Microsoft 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010. Add a Table With Shading To create a new table and color it before entering data into it: On the ribbon, go to the Insert tab and select the Table drop-down arrow. Drag the cursor across the grid to choose how many rows and columns you want in the table. On the Table Design tab, select a border style, size, and color. Select the Borders drop-down arrow and choose the borders you want to apply. Or, select Border Painter to draw on the table to indicate which cells should be colored. Add Color to a Table With Borders and Shading To format an existing table with a background color: Highlight the cells you want to tint with a background color. Use the Ctrl key to select non-contiguous cells. Right-click one of the selected cells. Select Borders and Shading. Select the Shading tab. Select the Fill drop-down arrow to open the color chart, then choose a background color. Select the Style drop-down arrow, then choose a tint percentage or a pattern in the chosen color. Select the Apply to drop-down arrow, then choose Cell to apply the chosen color only to the highlighted cells. Or, choose Table to fill the entire table with the background color. Select OK. Add Color With Page Borders Design Tab To use the Design tab to add any color to a table: Highlight the table cells to which you want to apply the background color. Select the Design tab. In the Page Background group, select Page Borders. Select the Shading tab. Select the Fill drop-down arrow, then choose a color from the color chart. Select the Style drop-down arrow, then choose a percentage of tint or a pattern. Select the Apply to drop-down arrow and choose Cell to add the background tint to the selected cells. Or, choose Table to fill the entire table with the background color.