Mechanical Edit

Information to help technical writers and editors, shared by Jay Martin.

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Define a basic table style

  1. If closed, open the Styles pane: On the Home menu, click the lower-right corner of the Styles Group.
    The Styles pane opens.
  2. Click New Style (the first button in the lower-left corner of the Styles pane).
  3. For the name, type Basic Table.
  4. For the style type, select Table.

Style the whole table

  1. For “Apply formatting to,” leave Whole table.
  2. Click Format > Table Properties.
    1. Click the Table tab.
    2. Click Options.
    3. For the default cell margins, for Top type 0.00", for Bottom type 0.01", for Left type 0.04", and for Right type 0.04".
      (These cell margins are aesthetic preferences.)
    4. Click OK.
    5. Choose an alignment, either centered or indented:
      • For the alignment, click Center.
      • For indent from left, type 0.5" (a table indent to match the body text indent).
    6. (Optional) Click the Row tab. Click to clear the check box for “Allow row to break across pages.”
    7. Click OK.
  3. Click Format > Borders and Shading.
    1. Click the top border button.
    2. Click the bottom border button.
    3. Click OK.
  4. (Optional) Click Format > Font.
    1. Click the Advanced tab.
    2. For number spacing, select Proportional.
    3. For number forms, select Lining.
    4. Click OK.
  5. Click Format > Paragraph.
    1. Click the Indents and Spacing tab.
    2. For line spacing, select Multiple.
    3. For “At,” type 1.03 (or the same as Body Text).
    4. (Optional) Click the Line and Page Breaks tab.
      Click to clear the check box for Widow/Orphan control.
    5. Click OK.

Style the header row

  1. For “Apply formatting to,” select Header row.
  2. Click Format > Paragraph.
    1. Click the Line and Page Breaks tab.
    2. Click the check box to select “Keep with next.”
    3. Click OK.
  3. Click Format > Font.
    1. Click the Font tab.
    2. For the font, select +Headings.
    3. For the font style, if the same font is used for the body and headings, such as Calisto, then select Bold.
    4. (Optional) For the size, select 9.
      (The font in the column headings, if bold, can be one point smaller than the table cells.)
    5. Click OK.
  4. Click Format > Borders and Shading.
    1. Click the top border button.
    2. Click the bottom border button.
    3. Click OK.
  5. Click Format > Table Properties.
    1. Click the Row tab.
    2. Click twice to clear the check box for “Allow row to break across pages.”
    3. Click the check box for “Repeat as header row at the top of each page.”
    4. Click the Cell tab.
    5. For the vertical alignment, click Bottom.
    6. Click OK.
  6. Click OK.

Set as the default

  1. Click the Insert menu.
  2. Click Table and select a 3x3 table or larger.
  3. On the Design tab in the Table Styles Gallery, right-click the Basic Table style (the first option) and select Set as Default.
  4. Click OK to the message “Do you want to the default table style to Basic Table for: This document only?”
  5. Click the Layout menu (to the right of the Table Design menu).
  6. Click Delete > Delete Table.

Apply the default format to a table

  1. Click and drag to select all rows of a table.
  2. Click Clear All Formatting (on the Home menu).
  3. Click Basic Table (in the Table Styles gallery on the Design menu).

Make an alternate table

  1. Click New Style (the first button in the lower-left corner of the Styles pane).
  2. For the name, type Basic With Bands.
  3. For the style type, select Table.
  4. For “Apply formatting to,” select Even banded rows.
  5. Select a fill color . . .
  6. For “Apply formatting to,” select Even banded columns.
  7. Select a fill color . . .
  8. Click OK.
  9. Click File > Save.
  10. Click File > Close.