In word or excel or power point you can change the background color of a table or selected rows or columns of a table, but I can't find a way to do this is onenote.
Is there a way to do this?


There is no way to change the background color of cells in a table in OneNote http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2010-onenote/in-onenote-tables-how-can-i-change-the-background/5fe682ea-5a07-43dd-815a-2b4d8af646d5.

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    OneNote 2013 now has RMB >> Table >> Shading. – apalopohapa Jan 9 '15 at 16:38

In Microsoft OneNote 2013+:

In a table:

  • highlight the row, cell or column you want to shade
  • right click and select table
  • shade
  • select your color and voila! Your column is shaded.
  • Are you sure using OneNote to do this and note Word? I don't have a shade option. – Kyeotic Apr 29 '14 at 22:14
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    The menu option exists in 2013, but not in 2010. If you apply color in 2013 it does not show up in 2010 (I have a table shared between both versions right now). – Ben Jackson Jul 3 '14 at 0:29
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    Does this only apply since onenote 2013? – user1605665 Nov 16 '16 at 4:55
  • This also works in OneNote 2016 (Plus) – wp78de Apr 24 at 3:04

Create a shape in Word and fill with desired colour. Copy into OneNote and 'send to back' behind table. Hope this helps!

  • Thanks, this should work but it is less than ideal, I wish microsoft added this feature to the next version. – Ali Apr 27 '12 at 13:48
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    Nice workaround, won't try it though :) Wondering why Microsoft left out such a basic feature... – Sander Jun 6 '12 at 11:20

I'm on One Note for Mac so not sure if this is the same on Windows.

  1. Highlight the row/cells to be shaded
  2. In the toolbar, click on "Table" tab which appears.
  3. Locate "Shading" at the right-end of that tab.

It is odd this does not appear from the context (right-click) menu.


(Not sure on previous versions: I'm using 2016).

If it helps, One Note auto creates what looks like a table if you tab between data columns. N.B. This is not a 'proper' table and you can't format to shade a row etc

If you go to the Insert tab and create a table from there, you can then change the formatting by right clicking, choosing table, and then a list of options will appear.


Highlight the table cells. Click on the "Layout" tab in OneNote. Select Shading and choose the color. This link should help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_CBXFLqM4A


This is with "OneNote for Windows 10" - which is the half-baked, crippled "successor" to OneNote 2016, but it seems to be what we all end up using.

Just highlight/select the desired cells with the mouse, then when you let go of the mouse button to complete the selection, a context/format menu appears. The paint can is "Shading".

Here's how it looks in a screen shot:

Screen Shot of Shading OneNote Cells in OneNote for Windows 10

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