Whether you recently created a new table in Numbers on your iPad or created it long ago, you might want to change its appearance. Here's how:


Select the table you want to format (to select the table, tap inside the table bounds but outside the cells) and tap the Format button in the toolbar.

The Format popover opens, as shown in the figure. You can change the basic color scheme and layout by tapping the design you want to use.


Tap Table Options and fine tune the table with a title, border, and shading.

Every table has a name. (It starts as Table #, with the next sequence number for all your tables.) The Table option simply controls whether the title is shown. Change the name to something meaningful that you can use in referencing it in formulas.

Likewise, each table is a certain size. The Table Border option determines whether a thin line is applied as the table's border. In the Alternating Rows option, every other row is shaded with a contrasting color.

For large tables, alternating the shading of the rows can make it easier for users to follow the data.


Tap Grid Options to show or hide the cell dividers.

Many people think that showing the lines in the main table and hiding them in the headers looks best. Experiment. As you tap to turn options on or off, the display changes so that you can see the effect.


Tap Table Options to return to that popover and then tap Table Font or the Smaller or Larger text size buttons to format the text in the table.

This lets you change the font type and size of the text.


Tap Table in the popover and then tap Headers to modify headers for rows and columns.

You can set the number of header rows or columns. (You have either zero footer rows or one footer row.) These elements are created using the existing color scheme.

Freezing rows and columns keeps the header rows and columns on each page. As you scroll the data, the data itself moves, but the headers never scroll out of sight. This option is often the best one unless the table's content is self-explanatory.


When you're finished, tap anywhere outside the popover to close it.

The popover closes, and you are returned to your table.