Editing Table Stylesheets

You can modify the look and feel of multiple tables at once by editing the properties in a custom table stylesheet. These table stylesheets let you easily and quickly create patterns and different looks for tables.

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How to Edit a Table Stylesheet

  1. Open the table stylesheet that you want to edit. This is usually found in the Resources > TableStyles subfolder in the Content Explorer, but you can store table stylesheets in other folders in the Content Explorer if you like.
  2. In the Table Style Editor, set the options for the table style on the tabs available. Open the full topic for details of each option.

    General Tab

    This tab lets you set border, padding, margin, page layout breaks, and background properties for the entire table style.

    • Table Margins Click in any of the individual fields (Left, Right, Top, Bottom) to specify the settings for the table margins (the amount of space around the table). In the left side of the field, enter a number for the amount of padding. In the right side of the field, select a unit of measurement (e.g., point, pixel, centimeter) for the number you entered. If you click the down arrow to the right of all the fields, the settings will be applied to all of the table margin fields. When you click that down arrow, a small popup displays. Use the lower-left area of the popup to enter a number for the amount of margin. Use the lower-right area to select a unit of measurement.
    • Background Use this area to specify the settings that you want for the table background.

      In the Color field, click the down arrow and select a color from the popup. For advanced color options, select MoreColors and use the fields in the Color Picker dialog. Next to the Image field, click . Select an image file to insert and click OK.

      If you want the background image to repeat, select one of the options from the Repeat field. You can also set the image position horizontally and vertically by using the X and Y fields.

    • Cell Padding Click in any of the individual fields (Left, Right, Top, Bottom) to specify the settings for the cell padding (the amount of space between the edge of the table cell and the content in the cell). In the left side of the field, enter a number for the amount of padding. In the right side of the field, select a unit of measurement (e.g., point, pixel, centimeter) for the number you entered. If you click the down arrow to the right of all the fields, the settings will be applied to all of the cell padding fields. When you click that down arrow, a small popup displays. Use the lower-left area of the popup to enter a number for the amount of padding. Use the lower-right area to select a unit of measurement.
    • Outer Borders Click in any of the individual fields (Left, Right, Top, Bottom) to specify the settings for the table border in the stylesheet. If you click the down arrow to the right of all the fields, the settings will be applied to all of the border fields. When you click that down arrow or in one of the individual fields, a small popup displays. Use the lower-left area of the popup to enter a number for the thickness of the border. Use the lower-middle area to select a unit of measurement (e.g., point, pixel, centimeter) for the number you entered.Use the upper-right area to select a color for the border. And use the lower-right area to select a line type (e.g., solid, double, dashed) for the border. When you are finished, click OK in the small popup.
    • Border Radius These fields let you create rounded corners on the table (see Creating Rounded Borders on Paragraphs and Tables). Click in any of the individual fields (Top-Left, Top-Right, Bottom-Right, Bottom-Left) to specify the settings for a particular corner of the table. If you click the down arrow to the right of all the fields, the settings will be applied to all of the fields. When you click that down arrow or in one of the individual fields, a small popup displays. This popup has two halves. You can complete only the left side of the popup if you like. This will create a curve that is equal horizontally and vertically. If you want a border to have more of a curve either horizontally or vertically, you can complete the fields in the right half of the popup as well, so that you have two values (e.g., 10px 15px) instead of one. For more information on using two sets of border radius properties, see css3.info/preview/rounded-border/. Use the lower-left area of the popup to enter a number for the amount of curve. The greater the number, the more curve that is applied. Use the area to the right of the number field to select a unit of measurement (e.g., point, pixel, centimeter). If you want to provide a second value for the rounded border, complete the same fields on the right half of the popup. When you are finished, click OK in the small popup.
    • Cell Border Collapse Select whether you want to collapse the cell borders in the stylesheet. If you collapse the cell borders, the row and cell borders of a table are joined in a single border. If you do not collapse the cell borders, the row and cell borders of a table are detached. If you use the border radius properties to create rounded borders, this must be set to "Do not collapse cell borders."
    • Cell Border Spacing Use this area to increase or decrease the amount of spacing for a cell border.
    • Hide bottom ruling when table crosses a page break See Hiding the Bottom Border on Tables When Crossing Page Breaks.
    • Overflow This determines what happens if content overflows the table.
      • Visible The overflow is not clipped. It renders outside the table. This is default.
      • Hidden The overflow is clipped, and the rest of the content will be invisible. If you are using border-radius properties on the table, you must select this option for the rounded corners to be seen properly.
      • Scroll The overflow is clipped, but a scroll-bar is added to see the rest of the content.
      • Auto If overflow is clipped, a scroll-bar should be added to see the rest of the content.
      • Inherit The value of the overflow property is inherited from the parent element.
    • Print Options Click this button to open the Breaks dialog and set page, column, and breaks for tables. See Setting Page, Column, and Frame Breaks on Tables.

    Rows, Columns, Header, and Footer Tabs

    These tabs let you set properties for the various elements of the table. For any of these elements, you can add multiple repeatable patterns with different colors and text properties. Following are descriptions for the fields that appear on each tab.

    Row/Column/Header/Footer Styles

    Displays the patterns for the row, column, header, or footer in the stylesheet. Each line represents a different pattern and how many times it is repeated in a table before the next pattern occurs.

    • Name Displays the name of each pattern. Depending on which tab you are working on, the default names of the patterns may be Body1, Body2, Body3, etc.… Column1, Column2, Column3, etc.… Header1, Header2, Header3, etc.… Footer1, Footer2, Footer3, etc. You can click in the cell, press F2, and enter a custom name for each pattern if you like.

    • Type Select a type for the item. Most of the time you will probably want to use the Pattern type. This means that the settings for that item will be added automatically to any table using that table stylesheet. But if an item has a Custom type, its settings will not be added to a table automatically; instead, you would need to apply that item manually to the particular areas of the table where you want to use it. The Custom type might be used if you want a particular style for most of your tables, but there might be some tables where the style needs to be changed somewhat. In those cases, you can manually override the style for those specific tables.

      Example You can switch the type for an item using the drop down menu.

      Let's say you have a table stylesheet with three pattern items on the Rows tab (Gray, Green, Blue), with alternating background colors.

      However, only the first two items are using the Pattern type. The third item is using the Custom type. Therefore, when you insert a table and use this stylesheet, the rows alternate between gray and green only.

      This particular pattern was created on the Rows tab, which means that it displays only in your body rows, not in any header or footer rows. By right-clicking on the tbody structure bar or any of the tr structure bars within it, you can select Row Style from the context menu. From there, you can select any of the available items in the pattern to override what you already have in the table.

      The only difference between the first two items (Gray and Green) and the third item (Blue) is that Blue can be applied only from this context menu manually. Gray and Breen are applied automatically, but can be applied manually from the context menu too.

    • Repeat Click the up or down numbers to increase or decrease the number of times the pattern occurs in a table before the next pattern is displayed.

    • Adds a new pattern. The new pattern is initially set to repeat just once, but you can change that in the "Repeat" cell.
    • Removes the selected pattern from the list.

    • Moves the selected pattern up in the list.
    • Moves the selected pattern down in the list.

    Height

    Select a pattern from the section above. Then click this field to open a small popup, which lets you set properties for the height of the row or width of the column. In the lower-left field enter a number. In the lower-right field, select a unit of measurement (e.g., points, pixels, centimeters) for the number you entered. Then click OK to accept the settings, or click Cancel to close the window without accepting them.

    Font

    Select a pattern from the section above. Then click this field to open a small popup, which lets you set font properties.

    • Weight Select an option to change the weight of the font (e.g., bold). The numbers from 100 to 900 represent different levels of darkness. The number 400 is the same as a "normal" weight, and the number 700 is the same as the standard "bold" option. "Bolder" means the next weight that is assigned to a font that is darker than the inherited one. "Lighter" means the next weight that is assigned to a font that is lighter than the inherited one.
    • Style Select an option to change the style of the font (e.g., italic).

      According to the World Wide Web Consortium (w3.org):

      The font style specifies whether the text is to be rendered using a normal, italic, or oblique face. Italic is a more cursive companion face to the normal face, but not so cursive as to make it a script face. Oblique is a slanted form of the normal face, and is more commonly used as a companion face to sans-serif. This definition avoids having to label slightly slanted normal faces as oblique, or normal Greek faces as italic.

    • Color Click this field and select a color for the text. For advanced color options, select More colors and use the fields in the Color Picker dialog.
    • Size In the top field, select Length. Then in the lower-left field enter a number for the size of the text, and in the lower-right select a unit of measurement (e.g., points, pixels, centimeters) for the number.
    • Family Click in this field and select a font family (e.g., Arial) for the text.

    Ruler

    Select a pattern from the section above. Then click this field to open a small popup, which lets you set properties for a rule (i.e., horizontal line) between the rows or columns in the pattern. In the lower-left field enter a number for the size of the rule. In the lower-middle field, select a unit of measurement (e.g., points, pixels, centimeters) for the number you entered. In the upper-right field, select a color for the rule. In the lower-right field, select a type of line (e.g., solid, double, dashed) for the rule. Then click OK to accept the settings, or click Cancel to close the window without accepting them.

    Separator

    Select a pattern from the section above. Then click this field to open a small popup, which lets you set properties for a separator (i.e., a horizontal line) between the final row or column in the pattern and the first row or column in the next pattern. In the lower-left field enter a number for the size of the separator. In the lower-middle field, select a unit of measurement (e.g., points, pixels, centimeters) for the number you entered. In the upper-right field, select a color for the separator. In the lower-right field, select a type of line (e.g., solid, double, dashed) for the separator. Then click OK to accept the settings, or click Cancel to close the window without accepting them.

    Alignment

    Select an option for aligning text in the row or column horizontally.

    • Left The text aligns at the left edge of each cell.
    • Center The text aligns in the center of each cell.
    • Right The text aligns at the right edge of each cell.
    • Justify The text aligns both at the left and right edges of each cell.

    vertical Alignment

    Select an option for aligning text in the row or column vertically.

    • Top The text aligns at the top of each cell.
    • Middle The text aligns in the middle of each cell.
    • Bottom The text aligns at the bottom of each cell.

    Print Options (Rows Only)

    Click the Print Options button to open the Breaks dialog and set page and column breaks for table row elements. See Setting Page, Column, and Frame Breaks on Tables.

    Background

    Use this area to specify the settings that you want for the background. In the Color field, click the down arrow and select a color from the popup. For advanced color options, select More Colors and use the fields in the Color Picker dialog. Next to the Image field, click . Select an image file to insert and click OK. If you want the background image to repeat, select one of the options from the Repeat field. You can also set the image position horizontally and vertically by using the X and Y fields.

    Cell Padding

    Click in any of the individual fields (Left, Right, Top, Bottom) to specify the settings for the cell padding (the amount of space between the edge of the table cell and the content in the cell). In the left side of the field, enter a number for the amount of padding. In the right side of the field, select a unit of measurement (e.g., point, pixel, centimeter) for the number you entered. If you click the down arrow to the right of all the fields, the settings will be applied to all of the cell padding fields. When you click that down arrow, a small popup displays. Use the lower-left area of the popup to enter a number for the amount of padding. Use the lower-right area to select a unit of measurement.

    Cell Content Style

    When you insert a table, it is set up by default to use standard table tags in the individual cells (e.g., <th> for table headers, <td> for regular table text). However, if you press Enter at the end of a line, a <p> tag is added within the standard tag. Therefore, in order to keep all of the content in your table cells looking consistent, you may want to create a special style class of the p style to be used for table content (e.g., p.tabletext) and apply that style to all of your cells when you first create a table. You can manually apply specific styles to tables by selecting the table cells, clicking Table > Cell Content Style, and choosing the style to be used for those cells.

    However, rather than repeating all these steps each time you create a table, the easiest way to accomplish this is to set a default cell content style. You can do this in a couple of ways: globally or using a table stylesheet.

    The fields in this section let you set default styles in the table stylesheet for whatever tab you're on (Rows, Columns, Header, Footer). In the Tag field, select the parent style (usually p). Then in the Class field, select any class that is available for that parent style (e.g., TableRowText).

    You can have different defaults for each table stylesheet in your project.

    When you insert a new table using a particular table stylesheet, the various parts of the table (e.g., header, row, footer) will automatically start out with the appropriate styles so that you don't have to set any of them manually.

    This feature automatically applies the selected style class only in new tables (and in new cells within existing tables) that are associated with the table stylesheet. It does not affect existing tables.

    If you also have a style set in the Table ribbon using the global method, your settings in a table stylesheet override that style.

    For more information about selecting table cell content styles and using the global default method, see Selecting Styles for Table Cell Contents.

    Pattern Example

    Let's say you want the rows in the table to alternate between having no background color and a green background color. In addition, you want a header row to have a blue background. To do this, you would complete the following steps:

    1. Select the Row tab.
    2. In the Row Styles section, click . There should now be two patterns (Body1 and Body2).
    3. To make the patterns more identifiable, click in the Name cell (where "Body1" is shown) and press F2. Then replace the existing text and type NoColor.
    4. Click in the Name cell (where "Body2" is shown) and press F2. Then replace the existing text and type Green.
    5. The Type cell should already be set to "Pattern" for each, and the Repeat cell should already be set to "1" for each. Keep those fields set as they are.
    6. Select the Green pattern row.
    7. In the Background/Color field, select a green color.
    8. Select the Header tab.
    9. Click in the Name cell and press F2. Then replace the existing text and type Blue.
    10. In the Background/Color field, select a blue color.

    The Preview section at the bottom of the editor lets you see how the table elements look as you make changes.

  3. Click to save your work.

Note Alternatively, you can edit table styles in a regular stylesheet separately (see Editing Table Styles in Regular Stylesheets). For the differences between regular stylesheets, table stylesheets, and local properties—and when you should use one over the other—see Regular Stylesheets, Table Stylesheets, or Local Formatting?

What’s Next?

After you edit a table stylesheet, you can apply the stylesheet to a table. See Applying Table Stylesheets to Tables.