Working with Tables

In Access tables are arguably the most important object. Use tables in Access to store all of your data to run queries and reports.

Table formatting options

Alternate row color

By default, the background of every other row in an Access table is a few shades darker than the background of the rest of the table. This darker alternate row color makes your table easier to read by offering a visual distinction between each record and the records directly above and below it.

Screenshot of Access 2013A table with alternate row colors

To change the alternate row color:

  1. Select the Home tab, locate the Text Formatting group, and click the Alternate Row Color drop-down arrow.
    Screenshot of Access 2013Clicking the Alternate Row Color drop-down arrow
  2. Select a color from the drop-down menu, or select No Color to remove the alternate row color.
    Screenshot of Access 2013Choosing a row color
  3. The alternate row color will be updated.
Screenshot of Access 2013The updated alternate row color

Modifying gridlines

Another way Access makes your tables easier to read is by adding gridlines that mark the borders of each cell. Gridlines are the thin lines that appear between each cell, row, and column of your table. By default, gridlines are dark gray and appear on every side of a cell, but you can change their color and hide undesired gridlines.

Screenshot of Access 2013Horizontal and vertical gridlines

To customize which gridlines appear:

  1. Select the Home tab, locate the Text Formatting group, and click the Gridlines drop-down arrow.
    Screenshot of Access 2013The Gridlines drop-down arrow
  2. Select the gridlines you want to appear. You can choose to have horizontal gridlines between the rows, vertical gridlines between the columns, both types of gridlines, or none at all.
    Screenshot of Access 2013Selecting horizontal gridlines
  3. The gridlines on your table will be updated.
    Screenshot of Access 2013The updated horizontal-only gridlines

Additional formatting options

To view additional formatting options, click the Datasheet Formatting arrow in the bottom-right corner of the Text Formatting group.

Screenshot of Access 2013Clicking the Datasheet Formatting arrow

The Datasheet Formatting dialog box offers several advanced formatting options, including the ability to modify background color, gridline color, and border and line style. It even includes the ability to view a sample table with your formatting choices, so play around with the various formatting options until you get your table looking the way you want it.

Screenshot of Access 2013Changing the table background color, gridline color, and border and line style