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How to Apply a Style to an Excel Table

How to Apply a Style to an Excel Table
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  • 0:01 Tables in Excel
  • 0:43 Quick Review - How to…
  • 1:52 Table Style Gallery
  • 5:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

If you like to apply a little pizzazz to your worksheet data, tables and table styles are the perfect features. This lesson will introduce you to Table Styles and guide you through the steps to applying styles to your worksheet data.

Tables in Excel

An Excel worksheet consists of rows and columns. A worksheet starts out black and white, plain and rather boring, until you add a bit of formatting, such as shading and borders. Creating a table in a worksheet is like getting a head start on the formatting. Think of tables like templates. When you create a table in an Excel worksheet, the formatting of rows and columns, headers and total rows, are already applied and ready for you to just start entering your data.

In this lesson, we will quickly review how to insert a table and then look at the different design options, or table styles, and how to apply them to your worksheet data.

Quick Review - How To Insert a Table

Before we can look at the different table style options, we need a table. Let's quickly review how to insert a table in Excel:

  1. Open a new worksheet.
  2. With cell A1 selected, go to the Insert menu in the ribbon.
  3. Look in the Tables grouping of commands.
  4. Click on Table.
  5. Select or highlight the range of cells for your table.
  6. Select the option for My table has headers (always good practice to use headers or column titles).
  7. Click OK.

And, there you have it. Your columns and rows are ready for data.

If you have an existing worksheet that you would like to convert to a table, that's easy, too:

  1. Select the range of cells that have data.
  2. Go to Home>Styles in the ribbon.
  3. Click on the Format as Table command.
  4. Select a style.

So, now that I have refreshed your memory, let's move on to table styles.

Table Style Gallery

Table styles are predefined formatting and color schemes that you can apply to your tables - and Excel has plenty to choose from. This makes it super easy to change the look and formatting of a table. To access the style options, click anywhere on the table and go to the Table Tools>Design menu in the ribbon. Across the ribbon you have five groupings of commands, and the last one is Table Styles.

To change the style, click on the 'More' icon to expand the gallery. You can choose from over 50 different styles. Notice that the styles are grouped into 3 sections: light, medium and dark colors. As with most MS applications, you can hover your mouse over any style and get a preview of what the table will look like when that style is applied.

At the bottom of the gallery, you have a Clear option. This removes all colors and shading, along with the banded rows, from your table. However, the table element still remains. For instance, you still have the built-in filter controls in the header row. The Clear command will only remove the formatting.

If you like having more control over the look and feel of your table, Excel gives you the option to create a new, customized style. Go back to the Table Styles gallery and notice there is a command called New Table Style. Now this takes a bit of practice, but if you are the creative type, this might be just the option for you.

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