Clearer table formatting than Microsoft auto-format

Some great tips on table formatting.

Joey Cherdarchuk has a nice posting on a very different table styling to the type that Microsoft prefers.

Under the banner ‘Clear Off the Table’ he suggests getting rid of gridlines and colors to simplify the look of tables. In his example, Joey takes a standard Microsoft auto formatted table like this: image from Clearer table formatting than Microsoft auto-format at

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And changes it to this: image from Clearer table formatting than Microsoft auto-format at

There’s a slide deck which goes through the steps:

  • Remove the colors
  • Remove gridlines
  • Remove Fills
  • Remove the border
  • Remove bolding
  • Left Align Text
  • Right Align Numbers/Dates
  • Align Titles with Data
  • Resize columns to data
  • Put whitespace to work
    (put gaps between groups)
  • Use consistent precision
  • Round the numbers
  • Remove Repetition
  • Please no more Calibri
    (he uses another san-serif font – Open Sans since Calibri shows up in tables way too often)
  • Add back the emphasis

In the blog comments Joey remarks that alternate row colors have a place when the row groups are larger. Certainly alternate coloring makes it easier for the eye to move accurately along a line, but they aren’t always necessary.