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Word offers two ways to create tables of information. Tab tables, which I cover in another chapter, and cell tables, which I'll cover in this chapter. A cell table is a grid that you can enter text and other content into. Each cell of the grid is like a tiny word processing document that supports multiple lines of text and word wrap. Cell tables are far more flexible than tab tables, because they offer more options for layout, formatting, and design. Let's see how this works. We're going to start by creating a table with four columns and five rows.
Word offers a number of ways to do this. One way is to use the Table Drawing tool to draw the table. Choose Table > Draw Table. The mouse pointer turns into a drawing tool. You can then drag in your document to create the outside boundaries of a table. So maybe it might look a little bit like this. Once that's done, you can drag to create column boundaries and row boundaries. So I can just drag down here and I can put in my column boundaries and then drag across to create my rows.
Now, I don't like this method. It's difficult to do, especially with the track pad, and it lacks precision. The only reason I'm showing this to you is, because I want you to know that it's available, but I don't recommend it. I'm going to close this document and create a new one to start fresh. Another way to create a table is with the New button on the Tables Ribbon. So I'm going to click Tables here, then I'm going to come over to the New button, click that, and it displays a menu.
What you want to do here is drag to select the number of columns and rows that you want. So I want 4 columns and 5 rows. When I release the mouse button, the table appears. Now, another way to do this is with the Tables dialog. So I'll insert another one down here. Pull down the Tables menu, come down to Insert, and then choose Table. You can use this dialog to set options for your table. So if I want it to be 4 columns and 5 rows, I could just type that information in here, click OK, and it creates my table.
Now, I only need one table. So I'm going to get rid of this second one. I'll just select it and press Delete and it will go away. By default a new table is set up with borders around each cell. That's a good thing, because it helps make the table easier to see. If for some reason the table is created without Borders, you can display table gridlines. Just pull down the Table menu and choose Gridlines. Now, the gridlines already turned on and I can tell because of this checkbox. You can't see gridlines and borders at the same time.
Gridlines don't print. So if you decide you don't want lines around your table, you can turn off the table borders, show the gridlines, so you can see those cells and then when you print there won't be any lines around it. And I'll tell you more about how to add and remove borders in another chapter. If you have Word set up to hide nonprinting characters, you might want to show them while you're working with tables. Right now they're turned on. If they were turned off, it would look like this. I'll just click that button in the toolbar and they'll go away. You can see that with the nonprinting characters turned on, you could see end of cell markers in each table.
That's what these little boxes are, and there is also ones out here on the far right end. That's the basics of creating a table. In the next video, we'll start entering data into the table.
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