The question is pretty short, but important for me. In Word 2016 there is an option to automatically add good-looking formatting to tables.

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But as I understand, it adds styling to the overall table, while I want to add styles to individual cells. In other words, I want styles like "Green Cell", "Red Cell", and so on. Like this:

enter image description here

Is there way for it?


Yes, I can use paragraph styles for this task. I understand how to use paragraph styles, but it will give very ugly visual result (see screenshot). That's why I ask about some another ways.

In contrast, fill bucket, as shown in screenshot, will give the good visual effect, but I can't control it like style. In other words, if I use fill bucket for multiple cells, I will not be able to automatically change color from Green rgb(197, 224. 179) to some different tone, for example, Green rgb(0, 255, 0). I will be forced to repeat this action for every cell manually.

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2 Answers 2


You can apply a different paragraph style for every single cell of a table. I suggest you to create "Validate" and "Reject" paragraph styles, and apply them at will to your cells.

To modify the background color of a paragraph style, use the create/update style menu, then format>border>shading :

Open new style menu

Border menu

You can also do it without using specific styles, but it's less responsive :

Change cell shading

If you want to format cells automatically, you will have to import an Excel object.


To remove the blank gaps on the edges you will have to add a negative indent in the paragraph menu of the table style. -0.2 cm seems to do the job. See this question for reference

  • 1
    "You can apply a different style for every single cell of a table. I suggest you to create "Validate" and "Reject" styles, and apply them at will to your cells." - these words are about creating paragraph styles, not table styles, right? This will not give the screenshot like you posted, if I understand your answer correctly.
    – john c. j.
    Aug 13, 2017 at 12:22
  • I edited the answer. I am indeed talking about the paragraph style, and that's the right screenshot as you can see on the second line : "Type de style : paragraphe". I can only provide french screenshots, sorry about that.
    – math3006
    Aug 14, 2017 at 14:53
  • Well, I upvoted your answer, but honestly, in it's current state, it doesn't give me desired reslut. See update to my question for more details.
    – john c. j.
    Aug 15, 2017 at 10:24
  • Oh yeah, I didn't notice that. The problem is that word automatically add a margin inside tables so that the text doesn't start on the grid, you'll have to trick him. I edited the answer, tell me if it still doesn't do what you're looking for.
    – math3006
    Aug 15, 2017 at 13:00


I'm assuming you're not trying to do conditional formatting; if you are, this won't help.

Make a paragraph style for each cell type you would like to format. I'll use "Cell Red" and "Cell Green" as per your question. ONLY USE THESE PARAGRAPH STYLES INSIDE TABLES.

Apply the style to the appropriate cells.

Open the styles pane from the Home Tab.

Find the style for the cells you want to format. Click the drop-down on the right and click select all. The link below is a before picture.


Go to the Design tab; click the shading dropdown and select the color you want. The link below is an after picture.


Unfortunately, it's still not as easy as modifying a style individually, but it does reduce the process to just a couple steps instead of having to do it a million times for each individual cell. So long as you only use those specific paragraph styles within tables, you can use this same technique to modify cells across several different tables at once.

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