You can insert new tables with tools in the Write and Table tabs of the Ribbon. The Table tab provides you with direct access to all the table editing tools.
You can link directly to tables in topic links in the same way as anchors. You just need to assign an ID to the table, then it will be shown as a target in the anchor list in the link tool.
If you set a color for the heading row of a table it will only be displayed if your table has at least one heading row! Check this in Table Properties if your heading row color is not displaying.
Table Properties (Reference)
How table sizing works (Reference)