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You already know how to convert text to a table. This table actually started as a set of tabular data. But you can also convert a table to text. This table is very easy to work with. But there are reasons that we might prefer to have this type of data displayed as text rather than in a table. My number one reason for converting a table to text is for accessibility. Whether I'm distributing this document as a Word document or publishing it as part of a Web page that needs to be accessible, many of the screen readers used by folks with visual challenges have a difficult time with tables.
When the screen reader hits the edge of the table, it might skip the table entirely, or simply have a difficult time reading this in a way that's easily understood by the user. If I want all of my users to be able to access this data, I may need to take it out of the table. It's easy to do. Simply click in your table and on the Table Tools Layout tab, choose Convert to Text. We are going to do this in two different ways. First, if my goal is to send this data to another application, for example, to put it in Notepad or to send it to Microsoft Excel, one way I could do this is with the Comma separated values, by separating the text in this table with commas.
When I click OK, you'll notice that I get list where each of the elements is listed, then a comma, then the next element: Carpinteria, CA, Brian Jeffries and so on. This would be easy to read. But it isn't really easy to look at. So, I'm going to undo that change, and we're going to convert this table to text again. Let's choose Layout > Convert to Text. We're going to choose the default, which is Tabs, and click OK.
You'll notice that this table has been converted to tabular data. When I say tabular data, it's because there is a Tab at the left edge of each column of data here. You may recall that if I wanted, for example, to centrer align the Employees column, I could double-click this Tab that's at a little over 5 1/2, select it, and center the data. So, I can, once again, manipulate this data using the tools that I have for tabular data in Microsoft Word.
I prefer to work with my tabular text in tables, but I don't always have that choice. If you also need to convert your tables to text, it's very easy to do in Microsoft Word 2010.
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