Home‎ > ‎Workshops‎ > ‎

Creating Tables in Word

Using Tabs and Ribbons in MS Word


A Word about Navigating in Word 2010

In Microsoft Word 2010, commands are grouped together under Tabs. Each Tab opens a different Ribbon of commands. Ribbons contain groups of commands shown as icons. The Ribbon is a process bar that, when using it from left to right, steps you through the process of designing the look and feel, developing the content and mailing and reviewing your document. Command icons are grouped together logically by type within each Ribbon. Contextual Tabs that pop up as you use specific features.


Creating and editing tables in Word 2010 requires the use of the Insert Tab, the Home Tab and the Contextual Tab for Table Tools.


Word’s Table feature can be used to organize information into rows and columns without having to set tabs. Tables can also be used to create forms and side-by-side paragraphs.  A table consists of vertical columns and horizontal rows. The intersections of those rows and columns create cells.  A cell is each individual square that you can enter text into.  You can create a table from the menu bar or the standard toolbar by inserting a predetermined number of rows and columns. The table border displays a ½ point line as the default.

Navigating in a Table

The information you enter will be entered within a cell.  As you enter information into a table, press the Tab key to advance the cursor to the next cell.  To move backward within a table, hold down the Shift key and press the Tab key (Shift + Tab).  When you reach the end of the last row, pressing Tab will add a new row to the table.  Text will word-wrap within a cell, and the cell will grow "taller" to accommodate the text that you type.

Steps to Insert a Table

1.         Select the Insert Tab

2.         Click on the arrow beneath the Table icon in order to        open the drop down menu.

3.         Select the number of columns and rows you want from   the gallery.





Tips:    While working with tables it is a good idea to work with paragraph markers showing.
If you are creating a table at the very top of a document, it is a good idea to press Enter once before inserting the table to place a blank line above the table.  That way there will be a place for you to later insert a title or some normal text above the table.  If you don't place the blank line at the top, you can press return in the first cell on the top left hand side. 
Exercise — Create a Table

1.         Open Microsoft Word and click the File Tab   and select New  to create a new blank document. 

2.         If ¶ markers are not visible, click the Show/Hide ¶ button  on the Home Tab Ribbon.

3.         Save this document to the Word Class folder as Creating a Table.

4.         Press the Enter key one time. Leaving a blank line above a table is always a good idea in case    you want to enter text above the table at a later time.

5.         Select the Insert Tab.


6.         Click on the arrow beneath the Table icon in order to open the drop down menu.


7.         Select the number of columns and rows you want from the gallery. Select 3 columns and three rows.





Cost of Book

Rose Bush



Cole Slaw



Patty Cake




8.         Enter the text shown in the table above and press Tab to advance to each cell.  At the last cell, press Tab to make a new row.



Format  a Table


Selecting Within a Table

With a few exceptions text is edited and formatted within a table just as it is in normal text.  Before making format changes such as changing the font or bolding text within a cell, the cell contents must be selected first.  Following are selection methods to be used within a table.

To select a Cell, Row, Column, or Table, you can click on the cell that you are selecting or you can click anywhere within the row, column, or table that you are trying to select. Then go to the Table menu and choose Select. Some selection shortcuts are shown below:


To select a cell, move the mouse pointer just inside the left edge of the desired cell (I-Beam will change to a pointer arrow) and click one time. 


To select a row of cells, move the mouse pointer to the left edge of the desired row, just outside the gridline, (I-Beam will change to a pointer arrow)  and click one time.


To select a column of cells, position the mouse pointer above the column, you should see a black arrow ( ) and click. 

Block of Cells

Drag the mouse pointer through the cells to be selected.


From the Home Tab Ribbon, you may apply formatting such as bold or italics to selected text.  You may also change the font, size, and alignment of text.  Many tables are formatted with the title and column headings bolded and often in a larger type size.  Some columns may look better centered, while other columns may look better if they are right‑aligned.


Exercise — Format a Table



1.     Position the mouse pointer just inside the left edge of the first cell until it changes to an arrow and click once.  This action selects a cell.  Click anywhere to deselect. 

2.    Position the mouse pointer in the Selection Bar (the left margin) beside the second row and click once.  This action selects a row.  Click anywhere to deselect. 

3.    Position the mouse pointer above the third column so you see the arrow ( ) and click.  This action selects a column.  Click anywhere to deselect. 

4.    Move your mouse into the table.  Click on the icon  in the upper left corner of the table.  This action selects the entire table.  Click anywhere to deselect. 

5.    Select the first row of the table.  From the Home Tab Ribbon, click once on the Bold button . 

6.    While the first row is still selected, from the Home Tab Ribbon, click once on the Center button , and then change the font size to 20‑point. 

7.    Select the remaining three rows and change the font size to 14‑point.