How to Change Table Color in Google Docs

417586 How to Change Table Color in Google Docs

Adding color to tables in Google Docs can help highlight important information, differentiate data, and make your documents more visually appealing. Changing table colors is easy to do directly within Google Docs without needing to install any additional extensions or add-ons.

Ways to Change Table Color

There are a few different ways you can change the color of tables in Google Docs:

1. Cell Background Color

To change the background color of individual cells:

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to color
  2. Click the Background color option in the toolbar (looks like a paint bucket)
  3. Choose a color from the palette

This will fill just the selected cells with color.

2. Table Properties

To color entire rows or the whole table:

  1. Right-click anywhere in the table and choose Table properties
  2. Go to the Color tab
  3. For row colors, choose the Row background colors option
  4. For whole table colors, choose the Table background color option
  5. Select a color

3. Table Styler Extension

The Table Styler extension makes it easy to apply custom color themes to tables.

To use:

  1. Install the Table Styler extension
  2. With a table selected, click the Table Styler option in the toolbar
  3. Choose a premade style or create your own

This allows you to color table rows and columns in just a few clicks.

Customizing Table Colors

When changing table colors in Google Docs, you have a few different customization options:

Use Color Palettes

The default color palette in Google Docs contains just basic colors. To access more shades and hues:

  • Click the Custom color option to open a color picker
  • Here you can choose from various color palettes or define custom RGB values

Color Individual Cells

Color groups of cells to highlight sections of your table:

  • Select multiple table cells by clicking and dragging
  • Right-click and choose Table properties > Color
  • Under Cell background colors, define a custom color

This is great for visualizing data trends.

Alternate Row Colors

Use alternating shades to make long tables easier to read.

To alternate every other row:

  1. Select the entire table
  2. Open Table properties
  3. Under Row background colors, choose Custom color
  4. Define two colors to alternate between rows

Match Document Theme

Make your tables fit in with the rest of the document by matching existing theme colors.

To do this:

  1. In your Google Doc, select the Theme option from the toolbar
  2. Take note of the color palette
  3. When modifying table colors, choose options that match the document theme

Examples and Ideas

Here are some ideas for when to use custom table colors in Google Docs:

Data Visualization

  • Use red and green to visualize negative/positive trends
  • Show magnitude of figures with light/dark blue shades

Organizing Content

  • Color code tables by category with different background colors
  • Alternate shades to differentiate long lists of data


  • Match table colors to theme colors
  • Use bright contrasting colors to make key data stand out


  • Use minimal shades that fit brand style
  • Alternate subtle row colors to help guide the reader

So whether you want to highlight key data, color code information, or just improve readability, changing up table colors can go a long way in Google Docs.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

If you are having issues modifying table colors, here are some things to check:

  • Make sure you do not have cell or paragraph borders enabled, as these may block fill colors
  • Check that cell shading is not disabled in the table properties
  • Try selecting smaller sections of cells – coloring entire large tables sometimes causes errors
  • If colors appear dulled/transparent, open the color picker and check the opacity is 100%

Rest assured that while table formatting can take some getting used to, color customization options in Google Docs are very versatile once you learn the ins and outs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about changing table color in Google Docs:

How do I remove color from a table?

To remove all cell background colors, open the Table properties and under the Color tab, choose the No color option. This will revert cells back to the default white background.

Can I apply a gradient color fill to tables?

Unfortunately, Google Docs does not currently support gradient color fills for tables. You can only choose solid colors to fill cells or rows.

Is there an easy way to color code tables?

Yes! The Table Styler add-on for Google Docs makes it simple to apply color coding to tables in just a few clicks.

What is the difference between cell and table background colors?

Choosing a Cell background color will fill only selected cells, while a Table background will change the color of the entire table, regardless of selections.

Can I save custom table color themes?

The Table Styler extension allows you to save custom color themes to quickly reuse across multiple tables and documents later on.