SharePoint List: How to Add Formatting for Rows

It is a challenge to read monochromatic, long, scrolling lists on the screen, especially when searching and reading for any length of time. In SharePoint List, we can now format odd and even rows with a background colour. Alternating background row colours will help the user easily consume the content, especially when the list is lengthy.

Alternating the background row colours is advantageous for many reasons, including increased productivity as lists become more easily read and searched. Adding rows formatting in SharePoint Lists is straightforward and is easy.

Formatting rows with background colour can be done by following these steps:

1. Create a List;

2. Choose to either:

a. Create a New View; or

b. Edit the View for the default “All Items” view;

3. Click on the “Alternating row styles” button which is located at the top right-hand corner. By clicking on this button, you have now enabled the ability to edit the alternating row styles in your SharePoint List;

4. Once enabled, the default colour for alternating odd rows is grey. To change the default colour of the odd rows and the colour of the even rows, choose the “Edit Row Styles” link;

5. There are now two options for editing and choosing alternating background row colours:

a. Colour Palette Icon:

Choose either the Even or the Odd row to be assigned a colour. Click on the Colour Palette icon to the right. When you choose a colour, it will appear automatically within the list, providing you a preview of the colour combinations before you save it.

Keep in mind that certain colour combinations are difficult for the user to discern the difference in row colours, can be difficult to look at for long periods, can cause eye strain, can tire the eyes with brightness, and some combinations are difficult to work with. An example of a colour combination that poses difficulty in distinguishing the two colours is a blue and grey combination. If the blue is a cool grey-blue, then it can look similar to the grey, rendering difficulty in distinguishing between the rows. The intensity and hue of the colour will also affect the legibility of the content. For example, black font colour is difficult to read if the background colour is dark or too bright.

Choosing the background colours for the alternating rows requires an understanding of how colours affect productivity, psychology, and ease of use for your users.

Once you have completed this process for one type of row, repeat with the other type (ie. modify odd rows, then modify even rows); and

b. Customized Solutions:

Flexibility in creating advanced solutions is available by clicking on the “Advanced Mode” button. For this solution, you can add your custom JSON to create unique experiences. Customizable solutions allow you to choose relevant colours, such as underscoring your organization’s branding and creating a uniform experience for your user. As an example, alternate background row colours can be your organization’s two dominant brand colours.

When applying customized solutions, it is still important to take into consideration the factors that are discussed above regarding colour contrast for ease of discernment, colour intensity for eye strain, and colour hues for psychological impact on your users.

If feedback from your users indicates that there is too high of colour contrasts, it is straightforward to revise your colour selections.

As you can see, assigning and applying alternating even and odd row background colours for SharePoint lists can be easily accomplished but there are factors to consider when choosing the background colours. If chosen correctly, the application of the alternating even/odd row background colours in your organization’s SharePoint list will provide your users with easily consumable content.