It's time for autoformats. Autoformats are going to save you SO much time, if you do tables with even vaguely complex formatting. Autoformats are like styles for tables -- they capture all the complicated border and shade formatting, "freeze" it under a name like Gray and Red Table, and can be applied easily to new tables.
This is part 3 of the Table series ( here's the first post and here's the second post). Last time, we talked about how, while there are many formatting options for tables and a lot of control, it's a lot of work to do that formatting. And in a large document with 20 or even 2000 tables, that turns into a ginormous amount of work.
Let's say you've got this table, and you need it formatted this way. And you need the other 147 tables in the document formatted this way, too.
All you have to do is:
1. Get the table formatted how you want—including fonts, number formatting (right-click on a number in a cell and choose Number Format), etc. AutoFormats preserve not just formatting characteristics but also fonts.
2. Turn it into an Autoformat
3. Apply that Autoformat to other tables
I've already done step 1, formatting the table.
Let's do step 2. Here's how to make an Autoformat.
Select the formatted table and choose Table > Autoformat.
In the window that appears, click Add. (You might see more autoformats than this.)
In that window, type the name of the autoformat, as descriptively as possible. Click OK.
The autoformat appears. Click OK.
Now we're on step 3. You have another table that you need to apply the formatting to.
Select it and choose Table > Autoformat.
Select the autoformat you want.
Click More – you can choose whether to include the other formatting shown, when you apply the autoformat.
You'll see the autoformat applied—I'm showing the original and the newly autoformatted tables together. Click to see the illustration larger.
Note that the outer border format is applied to the inside of one column here, since this table has one more column than the table the autoformat was based on. It's a good idea to test and tweak a little bit. If you want to do outer and inner borders differently, make your first table with three or more columns, so that the formatting applies correctly to all tables.
See how simple that was, though, overall? Reapplying the formatting is SO much faster with Autoformats. You can spend vast amounts of time applying formatting to tables manually; autoformats get rid of all that work. Also, unlike styles, autoformats aren't just available by default in the document where you created them. They're available in any document you create.