Tables are a convenient way to display data in a columnar format and can also be used for a variety of projects including creating resumes and company letterhead.  Tables in Word are made up of cells and displayed in a grid of horizontal rows and vertical columns.

Tables can easily be created in Word by using the Insert Table Gallery on the ribbon.  In addition to creating a table from scratch on the Ribbon, you can also convert existing text to a table or even draw a table.  Once created, you can select the cells, rows and columns and then edit them just as you would any other text in a document.

This tutorial can be done in Microsoft Word 2010 or Word 2013.  You will need to download the cruises_start document to work along with the tutorial.

Inserting a Table

  1. Position the cursor where you want to insert the table and then click on the Insert Tab > Table Group
  2. Click the Table Command
  3. You will see a drop-down menu containing a grid of squares. Hover the mouse over the grid and draw a 4×6 Table and then click with the mouse. (You will see the table being drawn in the page as you hover so you click with the mouse when it’s the way you want it.  The table will then be inserted in your document).  You want 6 rows and 4 columns as shown below.

Creating a Table in Word

  1. After you insert a Table in Word, it appears in your document as a set of cells which contain an end of cell marker
  2. The table also contains an end of row marker
  3. When you click in any of the cells in a Table, the Table Tools Contextual Tab will appear with two tabs – Design and Layout. Click on the Design tab to display it.
  4. You can also resize a table by pointing to the edges and a move handle will appear

Creating a Table in Word 2013

After you create your table, you are now ready to start working with your table.  You can:

  • Enter text into the cells. Pressing tab will move you from cell to cell .
  • You can merge the cells together to create column headings
  • Select the entire table, one or more rows and columns or one or more cells
  • Insert or delete rows at any time by using the Table > Layout Tab contextual tab
  • You can format your table by using the Table > Design Tab contextual tab

Merging Cells

  1. Select the first line in the table by moving your mouse into the white space and point and click the first line.  (The Table Tools contextual Tab will appear)
  2. Click the Layout Tab under Table Tools Contextual Tab
  3. Click the Merge Cells command.  (The 4 cells will merge into one)

Merging cells in tables in Word 2013

Enter Text in a Table

Click in the first cell of the table and start typing the text shown in the table below.  You will see the insertion point flashing.  Note:  As you enter text, you can also use your arrow keys to move from cell to cell or just click in a cell.

  • Entering text in a table in Word 2013

Selecting a Table

  1. Click anywhere in the table and click the Layout Tab > Select Group
  2. Click the Select command and then click Select Table

Selecting a table in Word 2013


Converting Text to Tables

You can convert text that is currently in columnar format, separated by tabs or commas into a table.   In the following example, you’ll convert a tabbed list into a table

  1. Select the text under the title “Up and Coming Cruises” as shown below
  2. Click the Insert Tab > Table Group
  3. Select Convert to Table from the drop down menu

Converting text to tables in Word 2013

4.  The Convert Text to Table Dialog Box will appear.  Ensure the correct number of rows and columns have been selected.  It should say 4 columns and 5 rows.

5.  Under Separate text at, ensure that the tabs is marked as the separator and click OK.  The text will be converted to a table as shown below:

Converting text to a table in Word 2013


Adding a Row or Column in a Table

  1. Hover the mouse near the row location where you want to add a row or column and you’ll see a plus sign appears.  Click the plus sign to insert the row.

Add a row in a table in Word 2013

2.  The new row or column will appear in your table.

Adding a row in a table in Word 2013

You can also use the Layout Tab on the Ribbon to add a row or column

  1. Click in the row where you want to add or delete your rows and columns. We want to add a row below September.
  2. Click the Layout Tab > Rows and Columns Group and Choose your option. In this case, choose “Insert Below”  Notice how you can also Insert Left, Insert Right or Insert Above.

Add a row in a table in Word 2013

Adding a Table Border

  1. Select the table by clicking on the “Select Table” icon
  2. Click on the Design Tab > Table Styles Group
  3. Click on the Borders command
  4. Choose All Borders from the drop down list.  The borders will appear in the whole table.

Adding a table border in Word 2013

Add a Table Shade

  1. Select the table
  2. Click on the Design Tab > Table Styles Group
  3. Click on the Shading command and choose a color of your choice

Adding a table shade in Word 2013


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