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A Table looks a lot like an Excel Spreadsheet in your Word Document. A table has rows and columns and cells, just like a Spreadsheet. Each cell can contain text, and text automatically wraps within a cell. The cell height increases to make room for all of the text that you add. Tables allow you to position blocks of text in relationship to each other and to the page. Tables can also be used for layout. There are five ways to insert a Table.
All of them begin on the Insert tab of the Ribbon. You can choose Insert Table and draw your Table essentially, drag to cover the number of rows and columns that you want to include in your table. Make sure that you get the number of columns right, because as you'll notice, Word is taking the entire width of the page and dividing by the number of columns that you've selected. Therefore, it's a little harder to insert a column later. You'll have to adjust the columns that are already in place. You don't care as much how many rows there are, because you can easily add new rows to the table, as you'll see in a moment.
So I'm going to begin with a 5x2 Table. I know that I need five columns. I typed text in my Table as I would in my document, pressing Tab to move from one cell to the next. When I get to the last cell in a row and I press Tab one more time, I return to the first cell of the row immediately below.
If I miss a cell and want to a back up, I can hold Shift and hit Tab to go back. So Tab to move to the right, Shift+Tab to move to the left. Now I've run out of Table, but if I press Tab one more time, a new row will appear. As I said, we don't have to worry a lot about having enough rows. We just need to make sure that we have enough columns. I can adjust my Table column widths by simply pointing to the break between columns and dragging. When I do that, I want to make sure that nothing is selected.
I can select rows or columns in my Table, and if I have a row selected, for example, and adjust the column width, I'm only adjusting it for that row. This is usually not a good idea. So with nothing selected but being anywhere in the Table, I can adjust column widths. I can adjust row heights. There's a minimum row height that's set in the Table Properties. So I'd like to leave more room for City, but I don't need much room for State, and can have a lot of room for Full Names and for the Number of Employees and the Year.
I can also easily insert a new row. I can select the row and right-click and choose Insert, and my choices will be columns or rows. I have a row selected, so I can insert a new row above very easily. I'm going to undo that. I can insert a new blank row below. Now I can also insert a column. I can select an entire column, right- click and choose Insert Columns to the Right. Some adjustment is made, looks good, and I again may want to go back and make some adjustment to other items.
To delete a column, simply select it and delete it. When I inserted my Table, I got two new tabs on my Ribbon: Table tools, the Design tools, which we'll look at later, and our Layout tools where the commands we've just discussed, inserting and deleting appear in the Rows and Columns group. That's the first way to insert a Table. I have a couple of other ways that I can insert Tables as well. Go back to Insert, choose Table, and choose Insert Table to open the Insert Table Dialog box, and I can say I'd like to have a table that has three columns and at least two rows.
And Word will create that Table for me. I'm going to undo that. The third way to insert a table is to draw the table, not by dragging here, but by actually choosing Draw Table, grabbing this Pencil tool and creating a Table, drawing our columns, drawing our rows. When you're done drawing the Table, be sure to turn Draw Table off in order to be able to get your insertion point back.
Let's undo that Table piece by piece. I can insert a new table by choosing a Quick Table. These tables aren't what you and I would traditionally think of as Tables. They're actually graphic elements that include contents. For example, calendars. Here's our weekly calendar that appears as a Table. And you can reformat this to change the dates, or put a different month here. But again, a very complex table, not at all like what we've been looking at up until now.
And then finally, I said that Tables are a lot like Excel. They look like Excel here in your Word Document, but the final kind of Table you can insert is actually to say I would like an Excel Spreadsheet right here. If I'm going to do calculation in my Table, it's actually nice to have access to all of Excel's Calculation tools. So here's my Excel Spreadsheet, and I can tell that I'm in Excel because the familiar Word Ribbon is actually not here anymore. What I'm seeing is the Microsoft Excel Ribbon, with my tabs for Formulas, and for Power Pivot, and other choices like that.
So I can have access to all of the functions in Microsoft Excel to be able to do calculations here in my Word Document. Tables are useful for presenting information and for making sure that the text in your document is correctly positioned. But with five different ways to insert three different types of tables, this is a feature that you'll be able to use for many purposes as you create your documents in Microsoft Word.
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