Table properties: cell formats

For formatting, a table is divided into areas: title, layers, corner labels, row labels, column labels, data, caption, and footnotes. For each area of a table, you can modify the associated cell formats. Cell formats include text characteristics (such as font, size, color, and style), horizontal and vertical alignment, background colors, and inner cell margins.

Cell formats are applied to areas (categories of information). They are not characteristics of individual cells. This distinction is an important consideration when pivoting a table.

For example,

  • If you specify a bold font as a cell format of column labels, the column labels will appear bold no matter what information is currently displayed in the column dimension. If you move an item from the column dimension to another dimension, it does not retain the bold characteristic of the column labels.
  • If you make column labels bold simply by highlighting the cells in an activated pivot table and clicking the Bold button on the toolbar, the contents of those cells will remain bold no matter what dimension you move them to, and the column labels will not retain the bold characteristic for other items moved into the column dimension.

To change cell formats:

  1. From the menus choose:

    Format > Table Properties...

  2. Select the Cell Formats tab.
  3. Select an Area from the drop-down list or click an area of the sample.
  4. Select characteristics for the area. Your selections are reflected in the sample.
  5. Click OK or Apply.

The new properties are applied to the selected pivot table. To apply new table properties to a TableLook instead of just the selected table, edit the TableLook (Format menu, TableLooks).

Alternating row colors

To apply a different background and/or text color to alternate rows in the Data area of the table:

  1. Select Data from the Area drop-down list.
  2. Select (check) Alternate row color in the Background Color group.
  3. Select the colors to use for the alternate row background and text.

Alternate row colors affect only the Data area of the table. They do not affect row or column label areas.