Using tables in Word can help organize content in different ways. When using Word tables can be used for text and numerical data.


By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Construct tables
  • Enter text into tables

Working with tables

You have learned how to present information in parallel columns using tabs and columns in Word. Using Word's Tables feature, you can format, edit, delete, and move text without affecting the rest of your document.

It's easier to know how many columns and rows you need before you create a table.

To create tables using the Insert Table dialog box:

  • Choose TableInsert Table from the menu bar. The Insert Table dialog box appears.
  • Determine the number of columns and rows you need in your table. You can add more later, but save yourself some work. You can always add rows by pressing the Tab key at the end of a row.
  • To create a table as wide as your page, leave the Fixed Column Width setting on Auto.
  • Click OK. A table is inserted into your document.

Insert table dialog box.

Creating tables

To create tables using the Insert Table button on the Standard toolbar:

  • Click the Insert Table button. Insert table button.
  • Drag the number of columns and rows you want in your table.

To create tables using the Draw Tables button:

  • Click the Draw Tables button on the Tables and Borders toolbar. The mouse pointer turns into a pencil. Draw table button
  • Drag the pencil to create a rectangle about the size of the table you want.
  • Release the mouse button. The border of the table appears in your document.
  • Use the pencil again to draw in column and row borders.
  • Click the Draw Table button again to change the pencil back into an I-beam.

Demonstration of drawing a table.

Entering text

Click inside a table cell to begin entering information.

Table with text highlighted.

To move around in a table:

  • Use the Tab key or right arrow key to move right.
  • Use Shift+Tab or the left arrow key to move left.
  • The up and down arrow keys will move the insertion point above or below its current location.

To select text in tables:

A cell: Triple-click inside cell.

A row: Move the mouse to the left of margins, point to the row, and click.

Multiple rows: Select the first row, then click and drag the number of rows desired.

A column: Move the mouse above the column. It turns into a downward-pointing arrow. Click once.

Multiple columns: Select the first column, then click and drag the number of columns desired.

Entire Table: Choose TableactionSelect Table from the menu bar.


  • Open a new Word document.
  • Create a table using one of the three ways mentioned in this lesson.
  • Insert some text into the table.
  • Practice moving the insertion point around the table.
  • Delete the table.