Chapter 10 Tables in Microsoft Word

Word Tables

Tables allow you to present figures and statistics in an easy-to-read manner. In this section, you'll design two tables. The first one will be fairly simply, and will look like this:
A completed Word table
Off we go then.
Create a new blank document and add the title and subtitle as above. To add a table to a page, click on the Insert tab on the Word ribbon. From the Insert tab, locate theTables panel, and the Table item:
The Table panel
Click on Table to see the following menu:
The Table menu
If you wanted a quick table, you could select the bottom item in the menu above. You'd then see a list of inbuilt table designs.
There are three other ways to add a table using the menu above. The first one is with the white squares. Move your mouse over the squares and you'll see them highlighted. Highlight the same ones as in the image below (6 columns and 2 rows):
Select a 6 x 2 grid
Once you've highlighted the correct squares left click to add the table to your blank page. It should look like this:
The grid on the page
The squares in the table that Word has drawn for you are called Cells. Your cursor will be flashing in the first cell. You can go ahead and type into the cells. Type the following into the first row of your table (without the commas):
USA, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Others
To get the cursor into the next cell you can either press the tab key on your keyboard, or just click inside the cell with your left mouse button. When you're finished, your table will look like this one:
Headings added to the Word table
If you move your mouse pointer up to the top left of the table, you'll notice that a little cross appears in a box. While in the bottom right of the table a white square appears. Like in the image below:
The move icons
The cross in the box is the table Move symbol. To use it, hold down your left mouse button and drag the table somewhere else on your page. But the process is a bit fiddly. The white square, bottom right, is the resize symbol. It works in the same way as the other white resize squares you have met.
You now need to enter some figures into your tables. So enter the following numbers into the second row of the table (you don't need to insert the commas):
12, 24, 20, 32, 7, 10
Your table should now look like the one below:
Number data has been added
As you can see, it's not very tidy at the moment. Let's centre the text and the numbers.
To centre all the table data, you first need to select it. You can do that either in the normal way of just highlighting everything in the cells. Or try this:
  • Click inside of your first cell, the USA one
  • Look at the Word ribbon and you'll see a new tab has appeared, called Layout
  • From the Layout tab, locate the Table panel, then the Select item
  • Click on Select to see a menu appear
  • From the menu click on Select Table:
The Select panel in Word 2007 and Word 2010
Your table will then look like this:
A selected table
With your data highlighted, locate the Alignment panel on the Layout tab:
The Alignment panel
From the Alignment panel, choose the Align Centre option:
A centre alignment has been selected
All your table data will then be centred:
Table Data has been centred
It's looking a bit better. We can format the table some more, though. We'll add a background colour to the bottom row. To add a background colour, do the following:
  • Click inside any cell on the bottom row (the one with numbers)
  • From the Select menu again, click on Select Row:
The Select > Select Row menu
(You can also just use your mouse to highlight the row. Click once to the left of the first cell, outside of the table border. Or just highlight text in the usual manner.)
With the bottom row highlighted, click on the Design tab on the Word ribbon. From the Design tab locate the Shading item, which is on the Table Styles panel (you'll see how to use table styles shortly). From the Shading menu, select any colour that takes your fancy (we clicked on "More Colors" to get the softer yellow):
The colour menu
The final result should then look like this:
Final results

And that's it for table one. You'll now design a table using the inbuilt table styles.

Word Table Styles

We'll use Table Styles to format the second table. Along the way, you'll learn how to delete rows and columns, how to change the height and width, and how to create a table using the table dialogue box. The table you'll design will look like something like this:
A table with a style applied
First, we'll create the blank table itself. So give yourself some space on your page by hitting the Enter key on your keyboard a few times. Type the heading for the table. Now click on the Insert tab at the top of Microsoft Word.
Click the Table item again. This time, select Insert Table from the menu:
The Insert Table menu in Word 2007 and Word 2010
When you click on Insert Table you'll see the following dialogue box appear:
The Insert Table dialogue box
Enter 7 for the number of columns and 7 for the number of rows. Then click OK. You'll see your 7 by 7 table appear on your page.
However, we've made a mistake because we only need 6 columns. To delete one of them, click in any cell of the final column. Click on the Layout tab at the top, then click the Select item. From the Select menu, choose Select Column:
The Select menu
Your table will then look like this:
A column selected in a a table
To delete the column, make sure the Layout tab is selected at the top of Word. Locate the Rows & Columns panel and the Delete item:
The Rows & Columns panel in Word 2007 and Word 2010
Click on Delete to reveal the following menu:
The Delete menu
Select Delete Columns from the menu. The column or columns you have selected will then be deleted.
(Note that from the Rows & Columns panel you can also add a new column to the left or right of the one you have selected. You can add a new row in the same way.)
Now that we have a bare table of 6 columns and 7 rows, we can add the data. For the top row, type the following, one item to each cell (without the commas). Leave the first cell blank, though:
Castle, River, Town Hall, Museum, Gardens
For the first column, type the countries:
USA, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Others
For the data, type the following into the cells:
Table data
When you're done, your table should look like this:
A Word table with column and row data
Now align the text and the numbers so that they are centre aligned. You did this for the previous table. (Select the whole table using the Layout panel, then use the Alignment panel to centre everything.)
Now that everything is nicely centred, we can increase the height and width of the cells. To do that, select your entire table again. Still on the Layout panel, locate the Cell Size panel:
The Cell Size panel
Change the Height to 1 cm and Width to 2.5 cm (in inches 0.4 and 1).
Your table should now look like this:
The cells have been widened
Now that we have all the text and numbers finished, we can apply a style. This is quite easy.
Click anywhere inside of your table. Now click on the Design tab at the top of Word. Locate the Table Styles panel:
The Table Styles panel
You can click on any of the styles and your table will update itself. To get back to no style at all, select the first item, the one highlighted in the image above.
But click the bottom arrow on the styles area to see more appear:
The Styles menu
The one we chose at the top of this lesson was "Medium grid 1 accent 2". Feel free to select one that catches your eye, though. You don't have to go with ours. Try them all out to see what they look like.
Note the menu items at the bottom. If you designed your own table style, like we did for the first one, you can click New Table Style. You can then add that style to the list above.
Here's our finished table, with a different style chosen:
A style has been selected for the Word table

And that's it for tables. There's a lot more you can do with them, so have a play around with the various options and see how you get on. You should have enough information to create something very impressive!
In the next section, you'll learn about document collaboration.