I have been having this problem for many years, but always knew a way around this (mainly by manually going through all the tables and changing styles) but I now I am sick of it and I want to know what I do wrong.

I have defined a custom table layout/style, based on the default table. However, when I try to apply these styles to a table some things do not change, or are changed to a wrong value.

Let's say for instance that I have defined that there should be no top or bottom margin on any row (even, uneven, first or last). As a precaution I also set those margins to zero for columns. However, for some reason the table still applies a bottom margin to all rows (12 pt). I have seen this behaviour before, going from a wrong background colour, to a wrong font. I don't think it's an error of Word, but I am probably something missing.

If I were to guess, I'd say that there is some kind of prioritising: the value that I have given in my style, is overwritten by something else. But by what, and how do I overrule that?


If anyone else runs into this situation like I did (and came across this question in my search for an answer) where the Apply (and clear formatting) does not work.

What you do is. 1) Select the table. 2) On the Table Tools -> Design tab click the more arrow to view all styles and at the bottom click "clear" 3) On that same tab click more arrow again (if it collapsed) and select the style you customized.

I suppose someone could write a vba to roll through the document clearing all table formatting and reapplying it.


Right click the custom design in the design tab and select "apply (and clear formating)

  • Yes I did. To no avail. – Bram Vanroy Jul 15 '14 at 15:26

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