How to Create a Table in Word

Tables are an important tool in Microsoft Word. You can use them to organize the content in a Word document into rows and columns, which allows for better presentation and readability. This article will show you how to create and customize tables using the Microsoft Office 365 version of Word.

Using the Insert Feature

  1. Open your Word document and place your cursor where you want to insert the table.
  2. Click on Insert on the top ribbon, then select the Table icon.

    Insert> Table
    Click on the Insert tab, then select the Table icon.
  3. A drop-down menu appears. Move your mouse or trackpad along the squares to select the size of the desired table size by the number of rows and columns. Once selected, the table will be automatically inserted into your document.

    Select the size of the table by the number of rows and columns
    Select the number of rows and columns that you need in your table.
  4. If the table you want to draw is too large, you can click on the Insert Table option.

    Select Insert Table
    Click on the Insert Table option.
  5. Enter the number of rows and columns you need in your table, then click OK to insert it into your document.

    Enter the number of rows and columns and click OK
    Enter the number of rows and columns and click OK

If you want to create an irregular or more a complicated table with columns or rows of varying widths, you can use your mouse or touchpad to draw the table by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Insert tab and click on the Table icon.
  2. A drop-down menu appears. Select the Draw Table option.

    Insert> Table> Draw Table
    Select Draw Table from the drop-down menu.
  3. Move the mouse pointer where you want to draw the table.
  4. Hold the left mouse button and drag the mouse to draw your table.

    Draw a table in Word
    Hold the left mouse button and drag the mouse to draw your table.
  5. Release the left mouse button once you are satisfied with the table size.
  6. To draw vertical lines in your table, move the mouse pointer to the top or bottom, hold down the left mouse button, and drag the mouse up and down.

    Draw vertical lines in a table
    Drag the mouse pointer from the top or bottom to draw vertical lines
  7. To draw horizontal lines in your table, move the mouse pointer to the left or right side of the table, hold down the left mouse button, and drag the mouse right and left to draw.

    Draw horizontal lines in a table in Word
    Drag the mouse pointer from left to right for horizontal lines.

Creating a Table from Existing Text

If you have existing text that you’d like to turn into a table, you need to insert separators in the text to indicate where to divide the text into rows and columns. Separators include:

  • Paragraph marks
  • Tab
  • Comma
  • Other characters, such as the # or @ characters

    Insert separator characters
    Insert Separator Characters in the text you want to convert into a table.

To convert the existing text into a table:

  1. Highlight the text that you want to convert into a table.

    Highlight desired Text
    Highlight the text that you want to convert into a table.
  2. Navigate to the Insert tab.
  3. Click the Table icon. A drop-down menu appears.

    Insert> Table
    Click on insert, then select the table icon.
  4. Select the Convert Text to Table command.

    Convert Text to Table
    Select Convert Text to Table from the drop-down menu.
  5. The Convert Text to Table dialog box appears. Under Table size, make sure the numbers match the numbers of columns and rows you want. Under Separate text at, choose the separator you used in the text.

    Rows, Columns and separator character
    Choose the separator character that you used in your text.
  6. Click OK. And that’s it, your text will now be converted into a table!

    Text converted into a table
    Click OK, and your text will be converted into a table.

Inserting Tables from Microsoft Excel

Sometimes you may need to insert part of an excel spreadsheet into your Word document. When imported, the data will automatically be pasted as a table.

  1. Open both the Word document where the table will display and the Excel worksheet that contains your data.
  2. In Excel, select the cells you want to be copied, then press Ctrl + (Command + C on Mac) or right-click and choose Copy.

    Copy cells on MS Excel
    Highlight and copy the desired cells on MS Excel.
  3. In the Word document, position the cursor where you want to insert the table.
  4. Right-click and select Link & Use Destination Styles or Link & Keep Source Formatting.

    Link and Use Destination Styles
    In the word document, right-click and select Link and Use Destination Styles from the Paste Options.
  5. The Excel table pastes directly into the Word document where the cursor was positioned.

    Paste table in Word
    The table pastes into your Word document.

Note: The table is linked to the original Excel spreadsheet. If changes are made to the source Excel file, the Word document updates with those changes automatically. To stop them syncing, Right-click on the table and select Update Link.

Update Link
Right-click and select Update Link to update the changes made on the Excel spreadsheet.

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