A table is a set of rows and columns. The intersection of a row and a column is a cell. By default in Word, a table has a ½ pt black, single, solid-line border that will print. Word shows a faint border for table cells that do not have borders when the cursor is in the table.
can create a simple table most easily in Word by clicking
the Table button on the Insert tab. A menu and selection palette appears. Just drag
on the palette to select the number of rows and columns.
When you release the mouse, a default style table appears in your
illustration shows what the palette looks like for a table with 2 rows and
When you create a table with the palette, the table will stretch across the width of the page with columns of equal size. You can adjust the width and height of the whole table and of each column and row but to start with, all the cells are the same size.
Another way to create a table is to click the Table button and then click the Draw Table command on the menu. Your mouse pointer changes to a pencil shape to let you draw the outside border of a table yourself. Then you can draw in dividing lines to make rows and columns that do not have to be all the same. The ribbon changed to the Table Tools: Design tab where you can click the Draw Table button to turn off drawing and get the regular pointer back.
This method is very cool when you know just what you want and you want cells of different sizes.
There are several ways to do most tasks that affect a table:
As you work, you will probably find that you prefer one type of action, but please try out others as you run across them. The more experienced you become, the more likely you are to use key combos. They are fast... when you remember which keys to use.
Word is a bit inconsistent about how it refers to columns in a table. In a spreadsheet, columns are labeled with letters, but in some places in Word, columns are referred to with numbers.
Columns: named with letters starting at the left
mouse shape to select:
Rows: named with numbers starting at the top
mouse shape to select:
Cells: named in the form ColumnRow. So, cell B2 is in column B
and row 2.
mouse shape to select:
Grid lines: the
lines that divide the space into cells. Even lines that don't print will show in Word as light gray. But, of
course, you might choose to have gray lines in print, too. Look at the
Print Preview to be sure if the lines will print the way you want.
End-of-cell and End-of-row marks: Word uses a special symbol (a circle with 4 lines sticking out) to show where the contents of a cell stops and also where a table row stops. This symbol is one of the characters in a normal font, but it is not on the keyboard. The symbol uses the same font and font size as the default cell text. Some fonts give the symbol quite a different look, like . Sometimes you will want to select the symbol along with the text, just like you sometimes want to include the paragraph symbol in a selection. And sometimes not! You cannot drag inside a cell to select the end of cell symbol. You must select the whole cell using the shape or use the Select Cell command from the list on the Select button or in the right click menu for the cell.
Check your understanding: What value shows in the illustration of end of cell marks for cell B2? Answer 5
Handles: There are two handles for a table
Table Move handle: Appears at the top left of the table when your mouse hovers over the table or when the cursor is in the table. Click the handle to select the whole table. Drag this handle to move the table on the page
Table Resize handle:
Appears at the bottom right of the table when your mouse hovers over the
table or the cursor is in the table. Drag this handle to resize the whole table.
The rows and columns will resize along with the table as a whole. The text
in the cells does not resize.
The Table Tools tab appears whenever your cursor is in a table or you selected a whole table or part of a table. Unlike most other context tabs on the ribbon, Table Tools has two subtabs: Design and Layout.
This tab has tools that let you apply a table style to the table as a whole. You can select which special types of rows and columns you want like a header row or a Totals row. Of course you can change the shading or borders afterwards as you wish.
Once you have a table, no matter which method you used to create it, you can also use the Draw Table button to add more lines to your table with the pencil shape to create more rows and/or columns. The Eraser button changes your mouse to the eraser shape . Click or drag on table lines to erase them.
The Layout tab has lots of tools for editing an existing table. The Select button gives options for selecting the whole table or just a cell or row or column. The Rows & Columns tab groups has buttons that make it easy to add or delete rows or columns. Other buttons let you merge or split cells, set the height or width of cells exactly, align text inside the cell, and more.
The context menu that appears when you right click a table can have several commands for making changes in your table like adding and removing parts, merging cells, formatting, and sorting. What you see exactly depends on what was selected in the table.
In Word 2007 the context menu does not have the very useful Select submenu.
The Properties button on the Table Tools: Layout tab opens the Table Properties dialog, which has advanced choices. The context menu has a Table Properties command that opens this same dialog.
The Table Properties dialog has several tabs that have detailed choices for how your table looks.