Word - Tables


Tables are a powerful tool in Microsoft Word that allow you to organise and present data effectively. This guide will walk you through the basics of creating, formatting, and modifying tables in Word.

Whilst this site displays tables differently to Microsoft word, here is an example table with first column's cells merged together:

 Group1 Group 2Group 3
Example of Merged cells (Column)001

Inserting a table

  • Go to the 'Insert' tab on the Ribbon.
  • Click on 'Table', You will see a grid. Move your cursor over the grid to select the number of rows and columns you want, then click to insert the table: Illustrative image
  • Alternatively, click 'Insert Table' and specify the number of columns and rows in the dialogue box:  Illustrative image

Modifying a Table

Adding or Removing Rows and Columns

  • To Add Rows or Columns:
    • Right-click in a cell adjacent to where you want to add a row or column.
    • From the context menu, hover over 'Insert', then choose to insert columns to the left or right, or rows above or below: Illustrative image
  • Delete Rows or Columns:
    • Select the row or column you want to delete.
    • Right-click and choose 'Delete Cells', then select 'Delete entire row' or 'Delete entire column':  Illustrative image

Resizing Rows and Columns:

  • Manual Resize:
    • Click and drag the border of a row or column to resize it.
  • Automatic Resize:
    • Select the table, go to the 'Table Tools Layout' tab, and click 'Autofit'. You can choose to Autofit to contents, window, or fixed column width.

Formatting a Table

Applying Table Styles:

  • Select the table by left clicking it.
  • Go to the 'Table Design' tab.
  • Choose a style from the 'Table Styles' gallery. You can hover over each style to see a preview. or click the corner button to show more styles: Illustrative image

Customising Borders and Shading:

  • Borders:
    • Select the table or specific cells.
    • Go to the 'Table Design' tab.
    • Go to the 'Borders' section and choose the type of border you want (e.g., all borders, outside borders, inside borders, thickness and etc). Then apply it using your selection of cells and the 'Borders' button: Illustrative image
  • Shading:
    • Select the table or specific cells.
    • Go to the 'Table Tools Design' tab.
    • Click on 'Shading' and choose a colour from the palette: Illustrative image

Merging and Splitting Cells

Merge Cells:

  • Select the cells you want to merge.
  • Right-click and select 'Merge Cells'.
  • Alternatively, go to the 'Table Tools Layout' tab and click 'Merge Cells':  Illustrative image

Split Cells:

  • Select the cell you want to split.

  • Right-click and select 'Split Cells'.
  • In the dialogue box, specify the number of columns and rows you want to split the cell into, then click 'OK':  Illustrative image

Aligning Text in Cells

Text Alignment:

  • Select the cell or cells you want to align.
  • Go to the 'Table Layout' tab.
  • Use the alignment options in the 'Alignment' group to align text to the top, centre, bottom, left, right, or middle.

Text Direction:

  • Select the cell or cells.
  • Go to the 'Table Tools Layout' tab.
  • Click 'Text Direction' to rotate the text within the cell.

Using Formulas in a Table

This is an advanced feature of Word and will only work with very basic parameters in Word. If you need more complex use of formulas you will need to use Microsoft Excel.

Insert Formula:

  • Click in the cell where you want the formula to appear.
  • Go to the 'Table Tools Layout' tab.
  • Click 'Formula'.
  • In the Formula dialogue box, enter your formula (e.g., =SUM(ABOVE) to sum the values above the cell).
  • Choose a number format if needed, then click 'OK'.

Converting Text to a Table and Vice Versa

Convert Text to Table:

  • Select the text you want to convert.
  • Go to the 'Insert' tab, click 'Table', and then select 'Convert Text to Table'.
  • Specify the number of columns and rows, and choose the separator type (e.g., tabs, commas), then click 'OK'.

Convert Table to Text:

  • Select the table.
  • Go to the 'Table Tools Layout' tab.
  • Click 'Convert to Text'.
  • Choose the separator you want to use (e.g., tabs, commas), then click 'OK'.



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