25. Format a Table
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
23 About Writer Tables
24 Create a Table
26 Manage a Table
25. Format a Table
If you created a table without choosing an AutoFormat, or if you're unhappy with the table format you chose with AutoFormat, you can change your table's look. A table's primary goal is to present information to its readers in a clear format. If the format detracts from that goal, you should change the format.
Some users initially create very fancy tables from the AutoFormat list that Writer provides. Often, the colors and format take away from the table's effectiveness more than they add to it. Give your table as much time in its formatting as you give other design elements of your documents, perhaps even more, to ensure that your tables clearly say what you want them to say to your readers.
Always print a table onto paper to ensure that the formatting is not too distracting. Tables can look different when printed than when they appear on the screen.
Select the Table
To change the overall format of your table, select the entire table. If you only want to change the format of some of your table, select just that portion of the table, such as the first heading row or perhaps all the data rows that fall below the heading row.
You can make selections by highlighting the text with the mouse or by using the Table, Select submenu (a more efficient method). The Select submenu contains options for selecting the current row, column, or cellas well as for selecting the entire table.
Prepare to Format the Table
Select Table Properties from the Table menu. Writer displays the Table Format dialog box.
| | Choose the Alignment
Click through the tabs and options in the Table
tab of the Table Format
dialog box to change various aspects of your table's design. For example, you can change the way text aligns inside your table's cells from the Alignment
area in the Table
tab. Depending on your data, you may want to center or left-justify data beneath a heading.
Click the Text Flow
tab to display the Table Format
dialog box's Text Flow
page. If you want a page break to appear before or after the table, click the Break
option and designate how you want the page break to appear. You can change the table-splitting option for multipaged tables. The Vertical Alignment
options enable you to specify where you want text to align to in a tall cell. For example, if your cells are large enough for three rows of text but you type only one row, you can specify whether the text is to appear at the top, center, or bottom of the cell .
Click the Columns
tab to display the Columns
page. You can enter new values for each column's width.
You can drag a column with your mouse instead of specifying exact column width measurements, as 26 Manage a Table shows.
| | Adjust the Borders
If you want the borders (the dividing lines between your table cells) to take on a different appearance, click the Borders
tab. You can elect to change the border thickness , add a shadow to the table's outline, and even determine how far from each cell's edges you want the cell contents to begin.
Writer's default table options handle things very efficiently . It's rare that you will need to adjust specific measurements such as text inside cell spacing because Writer generally creates appropriate spacing values for you when you create the table.
If you feel that you've changed too much of your table, click the Table Format
dialog box's Reset
button in the lower-right corner of the dialog box to reset all measurements back to their original state (before you began changing values inside the Table Format
dialog box). Once you're happy with the changes you have made, click OK
to apply those changes and to complete the table's format.
Select a New AutoFormat
Once you add data to your table's cells, if you don't care for the AutoFormat you chose previously (see 24 Create a Table ), you can change to another AutoFormat scheme. Select Table, AutoFormat to display the AutoFormat dialog box and select another format to apply.
The AutoFormat dialog box shows a More button that, when you click it, produces several formatting options. You can elect to include or exclude all the following from the AutoFormat patterns: Number format, Borders, Font, Pattern , and Alignment . If, for example, you click to uncheck the Borders option, all the AutoFormat previews change to exclude a border around and between the table cells. Writer does not save your AutoFormat dialog box selections, so the next time you insert a table, you may have to select the same AutoFormat again if you want to reuse it.