Working with Tables

Use tables in Google Docs to present information visually. In Google Docs tables are both useful and easy to create.

Introduction

A table is a grid of cells arranged into rows and columns. Tables can be customized and are useful for various tasks, like presenting text information and numerical data.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to create a blank table, modify an existing table, and edit table properties.

Inserting and modifying tables

Watch the video below to learn how to work with tables in Google Docs.

To insert a table:

  1. Place the insertion point at the location where you want to insert a table.
  2. Click the Table drop-down menu and hover the mouse over Insert table. A grid of squares appears.
    Inserting a new table
  3. Drag the mouse over the grid of squares to select the number of columns and rows in the table.
    Selecting columns and rows
  4. Click the mouse, and the table appears in the document. The insertion point will now be in the top-left cell.
    A new table

To delete the table, right-click anywhere on the table and select Delete table from the menu that appears.

Deleting the table

To add an additional row:

  1. Right-click in a row adjacent to the location where you want to add a row, then select Insert row above or Insert row below from the menu that appears.
    Inserting a new row
  2. The new row appears in the table.
    The additional row

To add an additional column:

  1. Right-click in a column adjacent to the location where you want the new column to appear, then select Insert column left or Insert column right from the menu that appears.
    Inserting a column to the right
  2. The new column appears in the table.
    The additional column

To delete a row or column:

Deleting a row

Editing table properties

In Google Docs, you can make modifications to an existing table by adjusting the table properties like cell dimensions, alignment, border size, and color.

To modify cell dimensions:

You can modify the dimensions of cells by adjusting their border lines.

  1. Hover over the border line you want to modify. The cursor will change into a double arrow.
    The double arrow
  2. Click and drag the border line. A blue guide line will appear to help you see the new length and width of the cell.
    Using the guide line
  3. Release the mouse at the desired location. The cell dimensions will change.
    Viewing the new dimensions

You can also enter exact cell dimensions using the Table Properties dialog box. Right-click the cell you want to modify, then select Table properties from the menu that appears.

Entering exact dimensions

To modify horizontal cell alignment:

You can modify the horizontal alignment of a cell so its contents are aligned to the left, center, or right side of the cell. In Google Docs, horizontal cell alignment is changed by selecting one of the four alignment buttons in the shortcut toolbar.

  1. Select the cell or cells you want to align.
    Selecting cells to align horizontally
  2. Click the desired alignment button from the four options in the shortcut toolbar.
    Clicking the Center align shortcut
  3. The text will realign.
    The Center aligned cells

To modify vertical cell alignment:

Vertical cell alignment refers to aligning the contents of a cell to the top, middle, or bottom area of a cell. In Google Docs, you can change the vertical alignment of a cell by modifying the Cell vertical alignment in the Table properties dialog box.

  1. Select the cell or cells you want to align.
    Selecting cells
  2. Right-click and select Table properties from the menu that appears.
    Clicking Table properties
  3. The Table Properties dialog box appears. Click the Cell vertical alignment box.
    Clicking the Cell vertical alignment box
  4. Select the desired alignment.
    Centering the vertical alignment
  5. Click OK. The text will realign.
    Vertically aligned cells

To modify border size:

  1. Right-click anywhere in the table. Select Table properties from the menu that appears.
  2. The Table Properties dialog box will appear. Click the Table border size drop-down arrow, then select the desired size.
    Modifying the border size
  3. Click OK. The new border size will appear in the document.
    Viewing the larger border

To change cell background color:

  1. Select the cell or cells you want to modify.
  2. Right-click and select Table properties from the menu that appears.
  3. The Table Properties dialog box will appear. Click the Cell background color drop-down arrow, then select the desired color.
    Changing the cell background color
  4. Click OK. The new color will be applied to the cells.
    The new cell background color

To modify border color:

  1. Right-click anywhere in the table. Select Table properties from the menu that appears.
  2. The Table Properties dialog box will appear. Click the Table border color drop-down arrow, then select the desired color.
    Modifying the border color
  3. Click OK. The new border color will be applied to the table.
    The new border color

Challenge!

  1. Open our example file. Make sure you're signed in to Google, then click File > Make a copy.
  2. Insert a row at the bottom of the table, and type your name into the first column.
  3. Delete the column with the Monday header.
  4. Select the cells containing Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and change the background color to light blue.
  5. Select all of the cells. Change the horizontal cell alignment to center and the vertical cell alignment to middle.
  6. Make the first row's height larger.
  7. When you're finished, your document should look something like this:
    Tables Challenge Example