A table is a grid of cells arranged in rows and columns. Tables can be used to organize any type of content, whether you're working with text or numerical data. In Word, you can quickly insert a blank table or convert existing text to a table. You can also customize your table using different styles and layouts.
Optional: Download our practice document.
Watch the video below to learn more about creating tables.
To navigate between cells, use the Tab key or arrow keys on your keyboard. If the insertion point is in the last cell, pressing the Tab key will automatically create a new row.
In the example below, each line of text contains part of a checklist, including chores and days of the week. The items are separated by tabs. Word can convert this information into a table, using the tabs to separate the data into columns.
You can easily change the appearance of your table once you've added one to your document. There are several options for customization, including adding rows or columns and changing the table style.
You can also right-click the table, then hover over Insert to see various row and column options.
Table styles let you change the look and feel of your table instantly. They control several design elements, including color, borders, and fonts.
Once you've chosen a table style, you can turn various options on or off to change its appearance. There are six options: Header Row, Total Row, Banded Rows, First Column, Last Column, and Banded Columns.
Depending on the Table Style you've chosen, certain Table Style Options may have a different effect. You might need to experiment to get the look you want.
In Word, the Layout tab appears whenever you select your table. You can use the options on this tab to make a variety of modifications.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about Word's table layout controls.
Use these commands to quickly insert or delete rows and columns. This can be especially useful if you need to add something to the middle of your table.
Some tables require a layout that doesn't conform to the standard grid. In these cases, you may want to merge multiple cells (i.e., combine them into one) or split a cell in two.
You can manually enter a desired row height or column width for your cells. You can also use the AutoFit command, which will automatically adjust the column widths based on the text inside.
To keep your table looking neat and organized, you may want to distribute your rows or columns equally. This will make them all the same size. You can apply this feature to the entire table or just a small portion of it.
By changing the alignment of your cells, you can control exactly where the text is located. In the example below, the text has been aligned to the center.
You can easily change the direction of your text from horizontal to vertical. Making your text vertical can add style to your table; it also allows you to fit more columns in your table.