Working with Tables

Use tables in PowerPoint presentations to display important data. Learn to use the PowerPoint table function in this lesson.

Introduction

Lesson 21

Tables are another tool you can use to display information in PowerPoint 2010. A table is a grid of cells arranged in rows and columns. Tables can be customized and are useful for various tasks such as presenting text information and numerical data.

In this lesson, you will learn how to insert tables, apply table styles, and format tables using various commands.

Working with tables

Video: Working with Tables in PowerPoint 2010

Launch video!Watch the video (4:30).

In PowerPoint, tables are useful for organizing and presenting data. To use tables in your slide show, you'll need to know how to insert them, apply table styles, and format them.

Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.

To insert a blank table:

  1. On the Insert tab, click the Table command.
  2. Hover your mouse over the diagram squares to select the number of columns and rows in the table.
    Inserting a table with the Insert tabInserting a table with the Insert tab
  3. Click your mouse. The table will appear on the slide.
  4. You can now place the insertion point anywhere in the table to add text.
Adding text to the inserted tableAdding text to the inserted table

To make sure your table looks good with the slide layout, you can also insert a table using the placeholder. Click the Insert Table icon in the placeholder, then enter the desired number of rows and columns.

Inserting a table in the placeholderInserting a table in the placeholder

To move a table:

  1. Place the cursor over the edge of the table. The cursor will turn into a cross with arrows Cross cursor.
  2. Click and drag the table to the desired location.
    Moving a tableMoving a table
  3. Release the mouse button to drop the table in the new location.

Modifying tables

To resize a table:

  1. Position the mouse over one of the sizing handles located around the edge of the table. The cursor will become a pair of directional arrows resize cursor .
    Using the sizing handles to resize a tableUsing the sizing handles to resize a table
  2. Click, hold, and drag your mouse to make the table larger or smaller.
    Resizing a tableResizing a table
  3. Release the mouse. The table will be resized.
    The resized tableThe resized table

To add a column or row:

  1. Place the insertion point in a cell adjacent to the location where you want to add a row or column.
    Placing the insertion point to insert a new row abovePlacing the insertion point to insert a new row
  2. Select the Table Tools Layout tab, and locate the Rows & Columns group.
    Inserting a new row or columnInserting a new column or row
  3. If you want to insert a new row, select either Insert Above or Insert Below. If you want to insert a new column, select either Insert Left or Insert Right.
  4. A new row or column will appear.
    The inserted rowThe inserted row

To delete a row or column:

  1. Select the row or column by placing the insertion point in any cell in that row or column.
  2. Select the Table Tools Layout tab.
  3. In the Rows & Columns group, click Delete. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. Select Delete Rows or Delete Columns.
    Deleting a columnDeleting a column

Modifying the table style

To apply a table style:

  1. Click anywhere on the table. The Table Tools tab will appear on the Ribbon.
  2. Select the Table Tools Design tab, and locate the Table Styles.
  3. Click the More drop-down arrow to see all of the table styles.
    Changing the table styleChanging the table style
  4. Hover the mouse over the various styles to see a live preview.
    Previewing the new table stylePreviewing the new table style
  5. Select the desired style.
    The modified tableThe modified table

To change table styles options:

Once you've chosen a table style, you can turn various options on and off to change the appearance of the table. There are six options: Header Row, Total Row, Banded Rows, First Column, Last Column, and Banded Columns.

  1. Click anywhere on the table. The Table Tools tab will appear.
  2. Click the Table Tools Design tab.
  3. Hover the mouse over each option in the Table Style Options group to see an explanation of what it does, and check or uncheck the desired options.
    Checking and unchecking table style optionsChecking and unchecking table style options

Depending on the table style you're using, certain table style options may have somewhat different effects. You may need to experiment to get the exact look you want.

To add borders to a table:

  1. Select the cells you want to add a border to.
    Highlighting cells to add bordersSelecting cells to add borders
  2. From the Table Tools Design tab, select the desired Line Style, Line Weight, and Pen Color.
    Selecting border optionsSelecting border options
  3. Click the Borders drop-down arrow.
  4. From the drop-down menu, select the desired border type.
    Selecting a borderSelecting a border
  5. The border will be added to the selected cells.
    The added borderThe added border

Modifying a table using the layout tab

When you select a table in PowerPoint 2010, Design and Layout tabs appear under Table Tools on the Ribbon. Using commands on the Layout tab, you can make a variety of modifications to the table.

Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn about the different ways you can modify a table with the Layout tab.

labeled graphic

Change Text Direction

Making the text vertical can add style to your table. It also saves space, allowing you to fit more columns in your table.

Align Cell Text

By changing the alignment of a cell, you can control exactly where the text is located. In the example below, the cell text is aligned to the bottom-right.

Distribute Rows and Columns

To keep your table looking neat and organized, you may want to distribute the rows or columns equally, which makes them all the same size. You can distribute the rows or columns for the entire table or just a portion of it.

Change Cell Size

You can type a desired row height or column width for your cells. If you want, you can click AutoFit, and it will automatically adjust the column widths based on the text inside them.

Merge and Split Cells

Some tables require a layout that doesn't conform to the standard grid. In these cases, you may need to merge or split cells.

Add Rows and Columns

You can insert or delete rows and columns in your table. This can be especially useful if you need to add something to the middle of your table.

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing PowerPoint Presentation. If you want, you can use this example.
  2. Insert a new table with three columns and four rows. If you're using the example, resize the table on slide 5.
  3. Apply a table style.
  4. Use the Table Style Options feature to make your table have banded rows and a header row.
  5. Delete a column from the table.
  6. Add a border to one of the rows in the table.