How to Format Tables in the Numbers App on the iPhone & iPad

Sometimes you need to style or format a table in the Numbers app to make a table easier to read, or to better suit the table's content. Fortunately, this is a simple process.

If you need to know how to format a table on your iPhone or iPad, you're in the right place. The Numbers app is packed with great features to process data, make lists, and create or edit tables. In this article, we'll walk you through the easy process of opening and formatting tables in the Numbers app on both iPhone and iPad.

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How to Open a File Using the Numbers App

If you wish to format a table from another source, such as an email attachment or a document in the Files app, you can open the file in Numbers app by following these steps:

  1. Long press the file you wish to open.
  2. Select Share.

    Long press the document you'd like to openTap on Share
     
  3. Select the Numbers app.
  4. If you do not see the Numbers app icon, scroll to the right on the applications list and tap on the More icon.


     
  5. Select the Numbers app icon from the list of apps.

Once you've opened your table in the Numbers app, you'll need to select the content that you'd like to format.

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How to Format or Style a Table in the Numbers App

The format painter icon will allow you to format and style tables or table cells in the Numbers app. We'll show you how to select the correct icon and use it to format the table.

How to select the table content you'd like to format:

  1. Touch a cell.
  2. A blue box appears on the corner of the cell you touched.
  3. Drag this blue dot to select the cells you wish to format or style. This can be one cell, many cells, or an entire table.


     
  4. Select the paint brush icon to open style and formatting options.

Now you have various formatting and styling options available to you. This menu contains the headings Table, Cell, Format, and Arrange. On an iPad, the menu appears in full at the top of the screen, as you can see below.

On an iPhone, the menu appears at the bottom of the screen, where you can swipe up to browse various options under each of the headings, as shown below.

Next we'll walk through the table format and style options available to you on an iPhone, but the steps are the same on iPad, minus the need to scroll down to view all options on the format painter icon.

How to Style a Table in the Numbers App

  1. Select the cells or table components you want to format.
  2. Tap the paint brush icon.


     
  3. Tap on the Table tab.
  4. Select the table style of your choosing.

How to Add or Remove Table Columns & Rows in the Numbers App

  1. Select the rows or columns you wish to delete or add to.
  2. Tap the format painter icon.


     
  3. On the Table tab, scroll down to where you see Row and Column options.
  4. Change the number of rows or columns by tapping the green number and typing the desired number of rows or columns you wish to have in your table.

How to Add or Remove Grid Lines & Table Outline in the Numbers App

  1. Select the cells or table components you want to format.
  2. Tap the paint brush icon.


     
  3. On the Table tab, scroll down until you see Table Outline and Grid Options.
  4. Tap the Table Outline toggle to give the an outline to your table. When the toggle is green, it's turned on.
  5. To change vertical and horizontal grid lines, tap Grid Options.

    Tap on Grid Options
     
  6. If you're looking for cell borders and fill options, tap on the Cell tab and scroll down.

    The Cell tab will also allow you to format cell borders, text alignment, and text fill

How to Format Text in Tables in the Numbers App

If you need to format text in your Numbers app table to be bold, italicized, underlined, or just a different font size, color, or style, it's easy to do. Follow these steps to format the text:

  1. Select the cells or table components you want to format.
  2. Tap the paint brush icon.


     
  3. Tap on the Cell tab.
  4. Format font type, size, color and text margins from the menu for the table cells you have selected. You are also able to bold, italicize, and underline text from this menu.
  5. Scroll down on this same menu to find options for formatting cell borders and fill colors, along with conditional formatting settings.

    The Cell tab will allow you to bold, underline, italicize, and otherwise format text in tables on your iPhoneThe Cell tab will also allow you to format cell borders, text alignment, and text fill

How to Format Table Contents as Currency, Percentages & More

Sometimes you need the Numbers app to format cells in a column or row as currency, numbers, words, percentages, etc. To make these formatting changes:

  1. Select the cells or table components you want to format.
  2. Tap the paint brush icon.


     
  3. Select the Format tab.
  4. Here you can format the table text. Choose from options like Date & Time, Number, Currency, Percentage, and more.

    The Format tab will allow you to format the table text

There are so many things you can do with the format painter! Now you know how to format tables in the Numbers app on your iPhone or iPad. We hope this makes things easier.

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Author Details

Erin Smith's picture

Author Details

Erin Smith

Erin Smith is a Feature Writer for iPhone Life and has been a writer, editor, and researcher for many years. She has a degree in communication with an emphasis on psychology and communication, and has spent many of her professional years as a coach in various business and specialty fields. Erin officially joined the ranks of iPhone and Apple users everywhere around seven years ago, and has since enjoyed the unique and customized feel of Apple technology and its many gadgets. When she’s not working, Erin and her son enjoy outdoor adventures, camping, and spending time with their eclectic collection of pets.