Most people know that it is easy to create tables in MS Word which will contain data. But fewer people know that MS Word tables are essential tools for sophisticated formatting, and can even be used for basic data management. There is so much to say about tables that this topic will cover a few posts. To start, try these the next time you’re in Word:
To create a table in Word 2013, you click the “insert” tab, followed by “tables.” From there, you can
There are three ways to do this too:
1. Hover over the line break between two cells on the left-hand side of the table (to add rows) or the top of the table (to add columns)
2. Select a cell, right-click, and choose “insert” from the context menu
3. Select a cell, then click the “Table tools – Layout” tab, then “insert”.
Click your table to select it, then right-click. Alternately, click the table and then click the “Table Tools – Layout” Tab. Either way, click “Table Properties” after that.
The Table Properties box allows you to do a lot of nifty stuff. We’ll get into more of the details in a future post. For now, we’ll just look at a few basic things.
When you select “Table Properties”, the default visible tab will be the “table” tab. Here, you can control the overall table width, the alignment, and text wrapping. For alignment and text wrapping, the selector buttons basically say it all.
If you need to your table to be a particular width, then you can control that by clicking the box next to “Preferred width”. Enter in the number and the units you want. A couple of notes here:
If you need the table to be narrower, you’ll need to reduce the font before you specify your preferred width.
Some things to note about the “after” table
If you want more sophisticated control over your column widths, read the next section.
You can always control row height and column width with your mouse. Word also defaults to making the row high enough to accommodate all the text you put into it. That is often all you need. However, you can get more sophisticated if you need to, for example, if you want your table to have a uniform appearance. Click “Row” and then click the box next to “Specify Height”.
You have less flexibility here, because Word will not go any narrower than the text allows.
This is just the start of what you can do with tables in MS Word. Come to our MS Word 201 workshop to learn about Tables, and a whole lot more!
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