How to create and modify tables in Word

Word 365
Many documents present some data in the form of figures or tables. Creating tables is often more efficient than describing the data in the paragraph text, especially when the data is numerical or large. The tabular data presentation makes it easier to read and understand.

A table is a collection of information or data, usually represented by horizontal rows and vertical columns. Each column and each row can have a header. Some tables have only column headings or only row headings. The box at the junction of each column and row is a cell that contains data such as text, numeric information, or images. Some cells can be merged or split (see more about formatting tables). E.g.:

Table in Word 365

Microsoft Word has many features that make working with tables simple and convenient.


Create a table

There are several ways how to insert or create a table:

To create a blank table in a Word document, do the following:

   1.   Place your cursor where you want to insert the table.

   2.   On the Insert tab, in the Tables group, click the Table button:

Tables button in Word 365

   3.   Do one of the following:


Create a blank table of up to 10 columns and 8 rows

  • To create a table of up to 10 columns and 8 rows, move the cursor right (to select columns) and down (to select rows) the grid to select as many cells as you need. E.g., the table of 5 columns and 3 rows (selected cells will turn orange):
    Insert table 5x3 in Word 365

    Click on a cell in the grid with the expected number of rows and columns (or press Enter) to insert an empty table to fit the width of the text (paragraph).

    The table has the specified number of single-line text rows in the current paragraph and equal-width columns. E.g., the table of 3 rows and 5 columns:

    Table 5x3 in Word 365

Create a blank table with more than 10 columns or more than 8 rows

  • To create a table with more than 10 columns or more than 8 rows, do one of the following:
    • Create a table with exactly 10 columns or 8 rows, then add as many columns or rows as you need (see below how to customize table).
    • Click the Insert Table... option:
      Insert table in Word 365

      In the Insert Table dialog box:

      Insert table dialog box in Word 365
      • In the Table size group, specify the number of columns and rows,
      • In the AutoFit behavior group, specify the width of the table and its columns:
        • Select the Fixed column width option to customize width in the appropriate field: select Auto (used by default) or specify width. E.g., 0.75":
        Table with Fixed column width in Word 365
        • Select the AutoFit contents option to adjust cell sizes to the document content. E.g.:
        Table with AutoFit contents in Word 365
        • Select the AutoFit to window option to adjust the table's width to the document content width. E.g.:
        Table with AutoFit to window in Word 365
      • Select the Remember dimension for new tables check box if you want to create tables with the same options later. Word will remember your customization.

Create a blank table manually

  • To manually create an empty table, click the Draw Table option:
    Draw Table in Word 365

    After clicking that option, the cursor changes to a pencil Pencil in Word 365 that allows drawing cells directly in the Word document to create a table:

    Example Draw Table in Word 365

    Click anywhere in a document but the table itself by the pencil to stop drawing a table.

    Notes:

    1. To draw additional lines, select a table, then on the Table Layout tab, in the Draw group, click the Draw Table button:
      Draw Table button in Word 365
    2. If you draw a line in the wrong position, click the Eraser button in the Draw group of the Table Layout tab:
      Eraser button in Word 365
    3. We recommend displaying the rulers or gridlines to help you place the lines correctly.

Create a table using predefined templates

To create a table using predefined Word templates of tables and calendars, do the following:

   1.   Place your cursor where you want to insert the table.

   2.   On the Insert tab, in the Tables group, click the Table dropdown list, then select Quick Tables list:

Quick Tables in Word 365

   3.   From the Quick Tables gallery, select the template you prefer.

For example:

Example Quick Table in Word 365

Create a table from the existing data

To create a table from the existing data in a document data (either as regular text or as a tabbed list), do the following:

   1.   Select the document data you want to shape into a new table.

   2.   On the Insert tab, in the Tables group, click the Table dropdown list, then select Convert Text to Table...:

Convert Text to Table in Word 365

   3.   In the Convert Text to Table dialog box:

Convert Text to Table dialog box in Word 365
  • In the Table size group, specify the number of columns,
  • In the AutoFit behavior group, specify whether the width of the columns should be fixed (see details above),
  • In the Separate text at group, select the character that separates text into columns in the selected text: paragraph marks, commas, tabs, or some other character.

E.g.:

Convert Text to Table example in Word 365

Insert a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet

Note: It is possible to insert a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet in a document. To do so, on the Insert tab, in the Tables group, click the Table dropdown list, then select Excel Spreadsheet:

Excel Spreadsheet in Word 365

Word opens the Excel spreadsheet where you can enter the data. You can use Excel features such as functions and formulas to create or manipulate the data. Note that it is not a Word table.


Add rows and columns

To add a row and a column to a table, do the following:

   1.   Position the cursor:

  • to a cell in a row above or below which you need to insert a row,
  • to a cell in a column left or right which you need to insert a column.

   2.   Do one of the following:

  • Click the Insert dropdown list in the Mini toolbar:
    Insert in popup menu Word 365
  • On the Table Layout tab, in the Rows & Columns group:
    Insert in Mini toolbar Word 365
    • Click the Insert Above button to insert a row above the row with the cursor,
    • Click the Insert Below button to insert a row below the row with the cursor,
    • Click the Insert Left button to insert a column left to the column with the cursor,
    • Click the Insert Right button to insert a column right to the column with the cursor.
  • Right-click and select the Insert list:
    Insert in popup menu Word 365

Notes:

  1. To insert rows or columns, move the mouse over the table or left of the table until you see the Insertion indicator, then click the icon:
    Insertion indicator for rows in Word 365  and   Insertion indicator for columns in Word 365
  2. You can choose the option Insert -> Insert Cells... from the popup menu; Word opens the Insert Cells dialog box:
    Insert Cells dialog box in Word 365

    After selecting the option and clicking the OK button, Word adds an entire row or column, not a cell. Word just moves cells according to the selection.


Delete a table element

To delete a table element, do the following:

   1.   Select the cell, multiple cells, the entire column or multiple columns, the entire row, or multiple rows.

   2.   Do one of the following:

  • Click the Delete dropdown list in the Mini toolbar:
    Delete in popup menu Word 365
  • On the Table Layout tab, in the Rows & Columns group, click the Delete dropdown list, then select one of the options:
    Delete table elements in Word 365

   3.   Select one of the proposed options:

  • Delete Cells... opens the Delete Cells dialog box, in which select the option you need:
    Delete Cells dialog box in Word 365
  • Delete Columns
  • Delete Rows
  • Delete Table

Note: You can select the element you want to delete, right-click on the selection and select the appropriate item in the popup menu. For example, if the entire table is selected or the column is selected:

Delete Table in popup menu Word 365  and   Delete Columns in popup menu Word 365

Convert a table into text

To convert a table into text in Word, follow the next steps:

   1.   Click anywhere in the table.

   2.   On the Layout tab, in the Format group, click the Convert to Text button:

Convert to Text in Word 365

   3.   In the Convert Table to Text dialog box, select the charter to separate cells data in the text:

Convert Table to Text dialog box in Word 365

   4.   Click OK.

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