Grid Table Styles

by Rachelle Reese

Some information is best presented by using a grid table. When you add a grid table to a document, information is arranged in vertical columns and horizontal rows. The intersection of a column and a row is called a cell. Grid styles allow you to format the cells of the grid using background color, font styles, and borders. Applying the right grid table styles makes information easier to read and understand. A number of predefined styles are available. You can also customize the grid style options to draw attention to specific data.


You can select whether to display lines between the columns and rows and around around the table itself. These lines are called borders. You can select to display only top, bottom, left, or right borders. You can even choose to display no borders at all.

Header row

The header row is the top row in the table. It is often used to provide labels for the columns. You can select to display the header row using a different style than the other rows in the table.

Totals row

The totals row is the last row in the table. In a table that shows mathematical or accounting data, you might choose to display a sum of the column values in the last row and apply a separate style to the totals row.

First or last column

You can also apply a different style to the first or last column. For example, a matrix of data, such as one that charts the monthly rainfall for multiple cities, requires a label for each column and for each row. By applying the same style to the header row and to the first column, you can identify those cells as containing labels.

Banded rows

When you select the banded rows option, you cause one style to be applied to even numbered rows and a different style to be applied to odd numbered rows. This technique can help make it easier for readers to see the values on each individual row.

Banded columns

The banded columns option is similar to the banded rows option, but applies the alternating style to columns. This technique is used to help draw a reader's eye to the data stored within a column.

About the Author

Rachelle Reese has been writing technical training for programmers and network administrators since 1995. She has a master's degree in English, writing. She also writes fiction and has published two short story collections. One of her short stories was published in The Bitter End: Tales of Nautical Terror.

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