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Before we identify the different parts of a table, let’s go ahead and insert one into our document. To do this, position the cursor at the point in the document where you want to put the table. Don’t worry if it’s not exactly right–you can always move or manipulate it later.
You’ll find tables under the Insert tab in the Tables group. The Tables button looks like this:
You’ll see a bunch of boxes at the top.
The easiest way to insert a table is to drag your mouse over the rows and columns until you have the amount you want.
As you can see above, we dragged our mouse to make a table that has seven columns and three rows, or 7×3.
As we drag the table appears on our document:
We now have a basic table.
Let’s identify the parts.
Each box that you see in a table is called a “Cell.” There are 21 cells in the table above. We have highlighted a cell in the snapshot below.
The “Rows” go from top to bottom. There are three rows. Rows go horizontally across the screen.
Columns go from left to right. There are seven columns above. Columns are vertical.
So now that we’ve identified the parts of a table, let’s take a look at the other ways in which we can add them.
Using the Insert Table Dialogue
A dialogue launches in the center of your screen. It looks like this.
From here you can select the number of rows and columns. In this example, there are going to 5 columns, and 2 rows. Select your preferences in the AutoFit behavior section. You can set a fit column width, make the width of the cells and table fit to the content, or make the table size fit to the window.
Drawing a Table
If you know your table is not going to be uniform (regularly sized columns and rows), you can “draw” a table. This is particularly helpful when using tables to create complex page layouts.
Selecting parts of tables
Adding Text to a Table
Position Text within a Cell
Just like in an ordinary document, you can choose whether to center text within a cell, or whether to align it right or left, or toward the top or the bottom. Go to the Alignment group under the Table Layout tab.
The Alignment group is pictured below.
Using the graphics on the left as guides, select how you want text positioned within cell in your table.
NOTE: You can format the text position for just one cell, multiple cells (by selecting the cells), or the entire table (by selecting the table).
Converting Text into a Table
You can convert text into a table. This is especially handy if you’ve already written information that you think would be more effectively conveyed in a table.
To do this, you’ll have to carve up the text into columns and rows using commas and new paragraphs. That’s how you tell Word to separate the text into individual cells. Simply place a comma between the text you want to put into a column and place a paragraph where you want to begin a new row. An example of the text might look like this:
You can now specify the number of columns, as well as how to separate text. You can separate text into cells by paragraphs, commas, tabs, etc.
We chose two columns and to separate text at commas.
Look at the example below to see the final result.
Formatting Tables with the Table Tools
Whenever you create or select a table, the Table Tools will open automatically over the Design and Layout tabs in the tool bar. It allows you to easily apply table styles, borders, and shading attributes and more. Below is an example of the Design and Layout tools available for tables.
The Design tab (shown above) lets you customize the look and appearance of your table.
Let’s look at the Table Style Options group. But first, look at our table below:
In the Table Style Options group, we see that Header Row, First Column, and Banded Rows are checked.
Let’s learn what all these options mean so you can decide what you want checked – and what you don’t.
Tables of Contents and Tables of Authorities (Figures, etc.) are
What You Will Learn
not covered in this chapter (
Additional Written and Web Resources
This chapter last edited by Charles Kenyon on Friday 01 January 2021
Some less common ways to insert a table include:
Method 1: The Insert Table button (on the Insert Tab in Word 2007+; on the Table Menu in Word 97-2003)
Method 2: The Insert Table dialog
These methods are discussed further throughout the rest of this chapter. Help on each method to inserting a table into a document can be found in Help files in Word.
Method 5: Insert a Table Using on of the Quick Tables (Ribbon Version)
See the Quick Tables section below.
To insert or delete rows and columns, select what you want to affect-rows to affect rows, columns to affect columns-and then select the appropriate option from the Table menu (rows or columns).
Word 2000 and later has the ability to “nest” tables within another table. Nested tables are particularly useful when you use a table to lay out a page and then want to use a table to present other information such as quarterly earnings as a table within the table. To create a nested table:
Position the pencil in the cell where you want the nested table (or a table inside another table).
Draw the new table. To define the table boundaries, draw a rectangle.
Marking Header Row(s) – Table Rows that repeat after a page break – CK Addition Word 2003-2019
Tables often have header rows that describe what is in the columns underneath. When a table breaks across a page it is useful to have these header rows repeat. Documentation and tooltips talk about “the first” row, but multiple contiguous rows can be marked as the table header.
They do need to be the first row(s) in the table, though.
Creating a Caption for a Table – CK Note
A “caption” is a label that appears with a Table. It can be sequentially numbered and automatically inserted with each Table if you wish.
Insertion of captions is covered in the chapter on Complex Documents.
If you need the caption to repeat you would need to put a cross-reference to it in the first row of the table and set that as a repeating table header row. That row need not have top or side borders. Multiple rows can be designated as header rows. Once you insert a caption, it can appear in a Table of Tables.
Legal Q&A on Tables
Labels in Microsoft Word
Paul notes that some tables can only be recovered using the first method.
Resize all cells in a table to be the same.
Here is a link to a different version (Jay Freedman’s) that changes the entire table rather than going cell-by-cell. If you haven’t worked with vba directly before, you may want to read:
Installing Macros by Graham Mayor.
It is far easier to manipulate tables if you are viewing the table gridlines. It is important to realize that Word uses the term “gridlines” for two very distinct features. The first is a graphics layout gridline applied to an entire page. You do not want to be using that feature for tables!
To view gridlines for tables in Word 97-2003 you would select “Show Gridlines” under the Table menu. (The toggle command is “Hide Gridlines.”)
Notice that what appear to be single, wrapped sentences in the view without the gridlines showing are really in separate cells. These would be treated by Word as being separate paragraphs as well.
Here is a short macro I developed in response to a request. (The macro recorder does not record much of table manipulation.) The measurements are in inches.
Labels in Microsoft Word are Tables, usually set up using the Labels button on the Mailings Tab (Word 2007 and later) or the Envelope and Labels wizard or the Mailmerge wizard (Word 2004 and earlier). Once the labels are set up, you can manipulate the them using any of the techniques given here for tables.
In the screenshot above, you can see the table layout with blank spacing cells that will not print on the labels. Display of gridlines is especially helpful with labels. You can also use the Table Layout tab’s tools to align text in your labels.
See Graham Mayor’s Insert logos /graphics on business cards and mailing labels for step-by-step instructions on inserting graphics on tables for labels and business cards.
See Create and Print Labels on Microsoft Support.
The Label tools create a slightly different document than you would get just adding an equivalent table to a Word document according to MVP Jay Freedman. “For one thing, it overrides the minimum margin settings that come from the printer driver and it ignores the usual header and footer heights.”
Any text in the chúng tôi template including headers or footers will interfere with proper creation of labels.
See also: Troubleshooting
See also: Table Causes Document File Size to Increase (Word 2000 +)
Tables can become corrupted.
Ideas (from Paul Edstein) to fix a corrupted table:
Part of the text is hidden inside a table cell…
Can I insert an Excel worksheet into Word?
Menu Versions Word 2000-2004
Ribbon Versions – Office 2007 and later
In the top box labeled “Formula” you’ll see an equal sign. Type the word “SUM”, then an open parenthesis “(” and choose “Table1Total” from the Paste Bookmark drop-down list.
Type a comma after “Table1Total” then go to the Paste Bookmark drop-down list and choose “Table2Total”.
Type a close parenthesis after “Table2Total” in the Formula box. Your formula should look like this:
I never could understand sorting in Word tables. Is it possible to sort dates and numbers as well as text?
Practice: Sorting Dates in Tables
In a table, enter an array of dates that are near each other but have varying formats, like the following:
How can I make a pleading caption in Word?
There are a couple of different methods you can use to create a pleading caption in Word, but tables are one of the best ways to do this.
Practice: Make a “Scalloped” Caption Using Tables
Perform steps 1 through 5 in the “Insert a Table with Draw Table tool” in the preceding exercise.
If you have a lengthy caption (you’ve probably seen some that go on for pages), you may have noticed that the scallops don’t automatically copy down the center column of the table. If you don’t find this acceptable, consider another way to make a caption where you use a border line separating the parties from the pleading title. Many courts now accept captions prepared this way-check your court rules to see if you can use this type of caption.
See also the example pleading caption (above) using Tables.
Practice: Make a “Bordered” Caption Using Tables
In a blank document, create a table with two columns and only one row.
Fix the bottom left border as described in step 2 in the “Make a “Scalloped” Caption Using Tables” example that preceded this exercise. While you’re in the Borders and Shading dialog, turn on the printing border for the right side of the leftmost cell as well.
In this type of caption, the border automatically extends as you add cross-complainants or type a long pleading title.
How can I get the first row to repeat at the top of each page throughout the table?
In lengthy tables such as file or pleading indices, holdings lists, and other legal documents, if a table spills onto subsequent pages you can make headings repeat at the top of each new page that contains a part of the table.
Practice: Create Table Headings
In a blank document, from the Table menu, choose Insert Table (Insert, then Table in Word 2000).
Create a table with two columns and 250 rows.
In the first cell of the first column, type Attorney.
In the second cell of the first column, type Extension.
Select the first row of your table, and then from the Table menu, choose Headings (it’s called Heading Rows Repeat in Word 2000).
Go to Print Preview and view your handiwork.
Word also allows you to have more than one row repeat at the top of the page. Just select the rows that you want to repeat and perform step 5 above.
How to have the word “Continued” in the header row of multipage tables on continuation pages but not on the first page. (CK Note)
Put the word “continued” in the heading line on the first page. Then create a textbox or autoshape anchored outside the heading row and use it to cover the word. The shape or text box should have no border and white fill. This way, the word continued will not appear on the first page but will appear when the row (without the textbox or shape) is repeated on subsquent pages.
An alternative strategy would be to put the word continued in the original row anchor an occluding shape in a non-header row to block the word on the continuation pages.
Both methods are less than ideal, both work. Here is an example of using a textbox anchored in the table but outside the header row.
The Text Box is shown as semi-transparent for this demonstration it would be opaque in use. It can be anchored anywhere outside the header row, including outside the table itself.
Note that any manipulation of the textbox is likely to move the anchor into the first row. You need to have the anchors displayed and correct for this by moving the anchor.
Here is what the continuation page looks like:
A variation of putting an occluding shape (or frame) in the page Header is used when a page number is needed in the table itself. This takes more fiddling than having the occluding box on the first page because alignment is tricky.
A page number in a Header Row will repeat the number from the first page. A page number field in a shape or TextBox in a Header/Footer will reflect the pagination used by Word in headers and footers.
Here is what the continuation header (Section set to have a different-first-page header) looks like from the edit Header screen.
The screenshot below is from the Print Preview screen. (In print view, the Page 2 would appear faded because it is part of the page header; in draft or normal view, it would not appear at all.
It’s possible to have it either way in Word-you can have your cells break over a page or not, depending on your preferences for the job at hand. By default, the text in a table breaks across a soft page break in both Word 97 and Word 2000. Let’s explore the options in the following exercise.
Practice: Prevent Cells from Breaking Over a Soft Page Break
In a blank document, from the Table menu, choose Insert Table (Insert, then Table in Word 2000).
Create a table with 2 columns and 250 rows.
Make sure you’re in Page Layout view (Print Layout view in Word 2000).
Go to the bottom of the first page and type in one of the cells until you see text both above and below the Soft Page Break.
Make sure your cursor is anywhere in the table, and then from the Table menu, choose Cell Height and Width (Table Properties in Word 2000).
In the Cell Height and Width dialog box, find the check box Allow row to break across pages.
If the option is checked, the text can break over a page. If not, the row that contains the cell that broke over a page is moved to the next page in its entirety.
This does not prevent cells from breaking over hard page breaks. Also, if you have more than a page of text in a cell, a soft page break must exist somewhere in that text, and the text breaks over a page even though you’ve cleared the checkbox in step 6.
Is there an easy way to make a file index in Word? I had a macro in WordPerfect and now I’ve got to make them from scratch.
The bad news is that you do have to make it all over again; the good news is that you’ll only have to create it once. Using the power of tables together with AutoText, you’ll be able to make a killer file index that you can use repeatedly.
Practice: Create a File Index Using Tables
Open a blank document, and from the Table menu, choose Insert Table (Insert, then Table in Word 2000).
Create a table with as many columns as you need (we’ll use 4 in this example) and 2 rows.
In the first cell of the first column, type “Number”.
In the first cell of the second column, type “Document Name”.
In the first cell of the third column, type “Date Filed”.
In the first cell of the fourth column type “Description”.
This will give you a numbered column down the left side.
My table column resizes as I type…
I am doing very simple math in my Word table. Is it possible to create subtotals?
Practice: Work with Subtotals in a Word Document
In a blank document, create three separate tables with values in the first two cells of the first two tables.
Select the first sum field (it should say “1500” if you’ve used the example above), making sure not to select the end-of-cell marker after it (it kind of looks like a spider).
After selecting the first sum field in step 3, go to the Insert menu and choose Bookmark. For keyboard users, CTRL+SHIFT+F5 gets you to the Bookmark dialog box.
Repeat steps 3-5 for the second total (“450” if you’re following the example above), calling it “Table2Total”.
Creating a Table of Tables (or Figures or Equations)
Often a table of the tables in a document is desired (similar to a Table of Contents). This can be done relatively easily in Word. Insertion of such tables in covered in the chapter on Complex Documents.
It is possible to have a table act like a graphic and have text wrap around it. This is done through the Table Properties and the Positioning Button. Here are two screenshots showing the controls in Word 2003 and Word 2010. (Controls are identical.) The Word 2010 screen shot shows positioning relative to the bottom page margin.
The default settings are for no text wrapping and the Table is simply inserted at the insertion point in the document. The Word 2003 screen shot has the default settings for the Table Positioning dialog. The table positioning button is not active on the Table Properties unless the text wrapping is set for “Around.”
I am unsure when this floating table ability was added to Word but suspect it came with Word 2002. It is not available in Word 97.
Note that repeating headers in tables do not work if the table is floating rather than in the document layer.
Here are some screenshots of floating tables set for text wrapping. They essentially act much like graphics in this mode.
One table set for wrapping with the tool to move it displayed (red circle)
Two tables, both set to wrap.
The same two tables with wrapping set, one nested inside the other.
Converting Tables to Text and Text to Tables
It is relatively easy to convert a table to a similar formal structure without a table.
In Word 2007 and later, the command for this is found on the right side of the Table Tools Layout tab.
In earlier (menu versions) of Word the commands are found under the Tables menu.
To convert a table to text, there must be a table and the insertion point must be inside the table. Using the choice will give a dialog box
The default choice is tabs which gives a traditional tabbed table rather than an Word table. It is certainly appropriate for many tables. If a table cell has text that would extend beyond the tab area, you can have something unworkable, or at least requiring more work.
Here is a brief table:
Converted to text using the Tabs setting it does not line up. Tabs settings for those paragraphs would need to be adjusted.
That was done in the following screenshot. However, in many tables this would not be practical and one of the other dividers would be needed.
Conversely, it is possible to convert text to a table. To do this, you need to select the text you want to convert.
This dialog lets you adjust the number of columns, but not rows. It lets you modify column width and pick the text separators. Note that you do not have to have everything precisely laid out for this to work.
In the following screenshot, a single word in a sentence is selected.
So long as you are not changing the number of columns, you get the same result as you would if you, instead, just inserted a table. The selected word(s) are inserted into a single column table and preceding and following words become their own paragraphs.
So long as the marker to separate text is not found in the selected text, it does not matter which marker is chosen.
Examples of Use of Tables
These are ad-hoc examples.
Fax Transmittal Coversheet Word 97 – still available as Fax (elegant)
(There is more about how the prompts and checkboxes in this work under MacroButton Fields.)
Pleading Caption Using Tables
These tables were set up originally using Word 97 with splitting and merging cells. Gridlines are shown but do not print. The formatting of individual cells is done using styles. (The names, addresses, and other case-specific details are inserted using Mail Merge.)
Using Tab Settings and Tabs Inside Tables
Word allows you to set your own tab stops and use different kinds of tabs. However, you have to use Ctrl+Tab to generate a tab inside a table; the Tab key, by itself, will simply move you to the next cell.
decimal tabs behave a bit differently inside tables than they do outside a table. If you have a decimal tab set and no other tab settings, your text will immediately align to that tab, without an actual tab character being inserted using Ctrl+Tab.
Use of a decimal tab is illustrated below. Note the Ruler at the top of each screenshot.
Table cell with no tabs set
Table cell with left tab set looks the same
Table cell with decimal tab set uses tab to align number to decimal
Add a “dot leader” using the tab setting dialog
And finally, what would happen without the left tab having been set first!
Select the row(s) at the top of the table that you want to repeat.
Pick Table Properties from the context menu
Check the box to “Repeat as header row at the top of each page”
Note this may work in earlier versions than 2003 but does not work in Word 97. I believe this feature was introduced with Word 2000 but do not know for sure.
Word 2007-2019 (Ribbon versions) can also use the ribbons
Select the Row(s) you want to repeat across page breaks.
On the right end of the Table Tools Layout Tab check the option to “Repeat Header Rows.”
Two variations on the Ribbon command to Repeat Header Rows
Note, that there is on the Design Tab also a checkbox for header row. This is a design choice for picking a table style and has nothing to do with repeating on the next page.
Final note, header rows do not work if you have a table set to have text wrap around it.
Using Cell Properties to Change the Appearance of Text in a Cell (Wrapping and Fit Text Options)
It is easy to miss these Options which have been available at least since Word 2003.
Wrap Text is checked by default and Fit text is unchecked by default.
The table shown below has the top two cells set to fit text. The font typeface and size is the same in all three cells.
The text in the top cell appears compressed. It is the same text as the first three sentences in the bottom cell.
Use Word’s Quick Tables and Add Your Own (Ribbon Versions of Word – CK Section)
Word 2013-2019/365 lets you insert rows and columns using your mouse
Word 2013 added another on-screen control to allow insertion of rows or columns. It is a plus sign in a circle at the beginning of a row or top of a column.
The Tools for Working with Tables – Toolbars and Ribbon Tabs
You can manipulate tables using tools on the Tables and Borders Toolbar (Word 97-2003) or on the Table Tools Tab Ribbons (Word 2007-2019)
Tables and Borders Toolbar (long form above, compacted below)
Table Tools Design Ribbon (above) and Table Tools Layout Ribbon (below) – Word 2007 and later
These Table ribbons are context ribbons. They become visible and active when you are in a table and are hidden when you are not.
You can use any of the tools you normally would use to format text in tables. See Basic Formatting. Probably the best method, though, is to use Styles.
Text in selected cells can be aligned in any of nine directions using the alignment buttons on the Tables and Borders Toolbar or the Alignment group of the Table Layout Ribbon. This is a form of direct formatting.
Your author does not know much about Table Styles and they were introduced after the original chapter on Tables was written. You can see them in the Design Ribbon above; here is a screenshot from the Word 2010 Table Style Gallery.
You can get many of these same built-in styles using the Table AutoFormat command in Word 97-2003 (on the Tables menu).
Using either of these can allow you to make dramatic changes for better or worse to your table’s appearance. Remember, UnDo is your friend!
See Why I Don’t Use Custom Table Styles by Shauna Kelly
There are a number of operations you can do to selected parts of a table but first you have to select those parts!
In Word 2007 and later, on the far left side of the Table Layout Tab there is a Select button you can use to select the Table, a Cell, a Row, or a Column.
In Word 97-2003 there are Select commands under the Table Menu that allow this.
Once you have portions of a Table selected, you can apply formatting, copy, paste, and perform other operations on that portion. One of the key things you can do is to mark one or more rows as a “Header Row” for the table. This is something completely different from Headers and Footers for pages.
Keyboard Shortcuts – with selection point (cursor) in table
Alt+5 (on the numeric keypad) Selects the entire table.
Move the selection to the top or bottom of a row and use the following to select the column:
Shift+Alt+PgDn to select entire column from the top cell.
Shift+Alt+PgUp to select entire column from the bottom cell.
Using the Backspace and Delete Keys to Modify Tables
The Backspace and Delete keys act on selected text to delete the preceding character (Backspace) or delete the following character (Delete). When text is selected, both will delete the selected text.
However, in a Table when the table or cells are selected (rather than just text), they act differently.
When you have a table, rows, columns, or cells selected, the Delete key will empty whatever you have selected, leaving the table structure intact.
The backspace key will delete the structure as well.
Method 4: Import Data from Another Application
If you have already created data in a tabular format in another application, there is a good chance that all you need to do to create a table with that data in Word is copy and paste.
Practice: Create a Table from Another Application
Make sure Word is open. Open the file in the other application that contains your tabular data.
Select (if necessary) and copy the data from the source file.
Switch to Word.
Choose Paste from the Edit menu.
While these three methods are the most common for creating a table in Word, other methods are also available. They include:
Method 3: Draw a Table
Practice: Insert a Table with the Draw Table tool
The Insert Table button is limited in how many cells it can display initially. When building a large or more complex table, you may find using the Table menu more useful. In Word 97, from the Table menu, choose Insert Table; in Word 2000-2003, from the Table menu, choose Insert, and then select Table. The Word 2000-2003 Insert Table dialog box is shown in the next figure.
The Insert Table dialog box in both Word 97 and Word 2000 allows up to 63 columns and 32,767 rows in a table, but Word 2000 lets you exercise more formatting choices and allows you to set defaults for subsequent visits to the dialog box.
Practice: Insert a Table with the Insert Table dialog
Make sure you’re on a blank line in your document.
In Word 97, from the Table menu choose Insert Table. In Word 2000, from the Table menu choose Insert, then select Table.
In the Number of columns box, type 100.
In the Number of columns box, type 4.
In the Number of rows box, type 100.
If you need more than 63 columns or 32767 rows, consider using Microsoft Excel or Access, depending on the task.
Everything from pleading captions to file indices to stock certificate listings can be managed in tables. In this chapter, we cover the basics first-how to create, modify, and prepare your tables for the legal environment. Next we’ll look at some of the ways to make tables useful in your firm. You will also see a greater number of references to Word 2000 than in other chapters. This is because the Table feature in Word 2000 has been greatly enhanced to offer more functionality. The enhancements continued through Word 2019. You may prefer Table Basics (Ribbon) by Suzanne S. Barhill, MVP.
You can use tables to align numbers in columns, and then sort and perform calculations on them. You can also use tables to create interesting page layouts and arrange text and graphics.
“Like a hammer, the time-proven spacebar has been used countless times to perform chores for which it was never intended. Yes, a hammer can compel a screw to join two pieces of wood together, and a spacebar can be used to move text around so it looks like a table. However, just as a hammered screw makes for a shaky wooden table, a word processing table fashioned together with spaces is equally fragile. Add something to the table and it doesn’t hold together. Which table? Take your pick.” Microsoft Word 2010 Bible by Herb Tyson
There are many ways to create tables in Word. Some of the more commonly used methods include:
Word for Law Firms and Lawyers CK Note)
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
CK Note: WARNING:
Using nested tables will make your document incompatible with Word 97. A nested table is a table within a table. You can follow the directions given above pretty much in Word 97 and create a good result. That is, you can use the pencil to draw new cells within an existing cell. What you can’t do in Word 97 is create that second table outside of the first one and then copy or move it into the first table.
You can download samples of a nested table and a pseudo-nested table if you want to look at this more closely. One document is compatible with Word 97, the nested table sample can’t be properly opened in Word 97. (It will open, it is just that the table will be scrambled.)
In Word 97, rows are inserted above the selected row(s), and columns to the left of a selected column(s). In Word 2000, you can define whether rows are inserted above or below the current row, and whether columns are inserted to the left or right of the current column.
The ribbon versions of Word added a gallery of sample tables called Quick Tables. These are Building Blocks.
Word 2007 and later come with nine built-in sample “quick” tables. Again, these are building blocks and come in the file Built-In Building chúng tôi in Word 2010 and later (Building chúng tôi in Word 2007).
Unlike table styles, these are actual tables. The user can add their own table to the Table or Custom Table Quick Parts Gallery and have them show up in this menu.
At the bottom of the Quick Tables dropdown you can see the command ” Save Selection to Quick Tables Gallery. That command is active only if a table is currently selected when this drop-down is used.
You can reach the same Create New Building Block dialog by using the keyboard shortcut of Alt+F3. *
The Create New Building Block dialog gives you the opportunity to choose:
The name for your Quick Table. The tables will be listed in alphabetical order, within the category.
The Gallery to store it in. If you want it to show up under Quick Tables, you must save it in the Tables Gallery.
The Category. The tables appear in alphabetical order in their categories which also appear in alphabetical order. The default category is “General,” which will appear after “Built-In” in the list. The category shown above is “_My Quick Tables” which would appear before either.
The “Save in” Template to store the Quick Table. The dialog above shows Building Blocks,dotx which is the default. I recommend saving it in a different template if you want to share your quick table. See Where can Building Blocks be stored?
* If you use the keyboard shortcut of Alt+F3 to reach the “Create New Building Block” dialog, the default gallery will be AutoText and the default save-in location will be the normal template.Sub ChangeCells() ' Resizes all cells in active document to one size (in inches) Dim oTable As Table, oCell As Cell For Each oTable In ActiveDocument.Tables For Each oCell In oTable.Range.Cells oCell.Width = InchesToPoints(2.3) oCell.Height = InchesToPoints(1.5) Next oCell Next oTable End Sub
This chapter from original Legal Users Guide to Microsoft Word 2002 – document in zip format
Original Chapter on Microsoft Website
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Copyright 2000, Microsoft Corporation. Copyright 2000-2002, 2004-2006, 2010-2021 Charles Kyle Kenyon See information about copy permission.
Search Intermediate Users Guide to Microsoft Word Using Google My office page as a Madison, Wisconsin Criminal Defense Lawyer.
Original Legal Users Guide to Microsoft Word 2002 – Documents in Zip Format
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Why I don’t use Custom Table Styles in Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003
Quick Reference: Why I don’t use Table Styles in Word 2002 or 2003
I’ve given up trying to use Table Styles for professional documentation. This page explains why.
In Word 2002, Microsoft introduced Table Styles. “Wow!”, I thought. Table Styles promised a quick way to format tables consistently and easily.
And on the face of it, they do.
In my work, I create templates for professional use. I need to define custom ways to control table formatting in several subtle ways. Using custom Table Styles should be the answer to my needs. But I don’t find them useful.
Microsoft has never documented how they work. I’ve only been able to discover how they work through trial and error, and from reading about other users’ frustrations on Microsoft’s newsgroups.
Every few months since Word 2002 was introduced, I’ve experimented with Table Styles. Every few months I’ve been disappointed, because they never give me quite what I need.
This is why I’ve finally given up on them.
Table Styles aren’t a grouping of paragraph styles
Paragraph styles are the basic mechanism for formatting text in Word. You can’t do serious work without coming to grips with them.
In my view, Table Styles should be a mechanism for identifying which paragraph styles I want used in my text + the overall settings the table itself needs.
But that’s not how Table Styles work. They apply direct formatting to my text, and they don’t play nicely with paragraph styles.
Table Styles don’t play nicely with Paragraph Styles
If text in the paragraph is in any paragraph style other than Normal, then sometimes the formatting of the Table Style over‑rides the paragraph style, and sometimes vice versa. For example:
if the Table Style is formatted so that the text is right‑aligned, and I apply a paragraph style that is left‑aligned, then the text will be right‑aligned. The Table Style “wins” the alignment debate.
if the Table Style is formatted with 9pt font, and I apply a paragraph style that has 10pt font, then the text will be 10pt. The paragraph style “wins” the font size debate.
This leaves me frustrated and confused. I apply a paragraph style to text in my table, and Word applies only some of the paragraph style’s settings. Only by trial and error can I can work out which settings of a paragraph style will be applied to the text in a table.
As a user, this single reason is sufficient for me to avoid Table Styles.
Table Styles apply fonts inconsistently
The font identified for the Table Style appears to be applied inconsistently. From testing with trial and error, the rules appear to be the following.
If I apply a Table Style to a table, and if the Table Style uses the same font as the document’s Normal style, then the font in the Table Style is applied to text in the table.
If I apply a Table Style to a table, and if the Table Style uses a font that is different from the document’s Normal style, then:
if the text in the table is in style Normal, the font specified in the Table Style is ignored.
if the style of the text in the table is in some other paragraph style, then the other style’s font is respected and the other paragraph style’s font is applied to the text.
Table Styles apply font sizes inconsistently
The font size defined in a Table Style will only be applied to my table if the document’s Normal style happens to be either 10pt or 12pt.
If the document’s Normal style uses, say, Times New Roman 11pt, then any font size I define in the Table Style is ignored.
Furthermore, I can only use 10pt fonts in a Table Style if the document’s Normal style is in 10pt. If style Normal is in some other size, I can have 9pt, or 11pt in my Table Style, but not 10pt.
Table Styles expect that all text in my table is in style Normal
When I go to insert a table, my cursor is obviously within a paragraph of text. When I insert a table, the text in the table is automatically formatted in the style of that paragraph.
table and use a particular Table Style. I insert the table, and I apply the Table Style.
But the text in the table will now be in paragraph style Body Text. And, as we’ve seen, Table Styles don’t play nicely with paragraph styles.
The only way I can get the Table Style settings to work is to select the whole table, and apply style Normal.
Table Styles are difficult for developers to use
I create lots of Word templates for clients. I’ve long since automated a lot of that work, partly because it speeds up the process, and partly because I can replicate a template with accuracy that I can’t achieve if I do it by hand.
However, a Table Style cannot be entirely constructed in code. That is because some parts of a Table Style are not exposed in Word’s object model. For example, in the user interface, I can specify that the heading row in a Table Style is to repeat at the top of each page. I cannot do that when defining a Table Style in code.
Therefore, tools to create a Table Style or to “fix up” messy tables will not work completely.
What would I have to do to use a Table Style successfully?
So, to use a Table Style successfully I would have to:
modify the Table Style to use the same font as my document’s Normal style
if I need the Table Style to use 10pt text, I must ensure that the document’s Normal style is in 10pt text
each time I insert a table, I must apply the Table Style, then select the whole table and apply style Normal (or, I must apply style Normal, then insert the table and apply the Table Style)
if I want to stay sane, I must avoid applying a paragraph style to text in a table
I have to give up on the idea of creating Table Styles in code.
Since I’ve never had a document for which these rules are appropriate, I have given up on trying to use Table Styles to format my tables.
Is Word 2007 going to solve these problems?
I don’t know yet. Certainly there have been some changes. But as far as I know, Microsoft has not yet documented how Table Styles work. So the only way to find out is trial and error.
If you’re looking for more information about Table Styles, try the following:
Sort a Table in Word: Overview
You can sort a table in Word that is used for storing and organizing data. It is possible to sort a table in Word by one or more columns of data in the table. You can sort a table in Word both alphabetically or numerically. You can also sort column data in either ascending (A-Z, 1-9) or descending (Z-A, 9-1) order.
If your table has column headers, or titles, for each data column, you can sort the table using those names. To show the field names in the “Sort by” drop-down menus, select the “Header row” option. This option appears in the “My list has” section at the bottom of this dialog box. If you don’t have column headers, instead select the column number by which to sort the data. Select either the column names or numbers from the “Sort by” drop-down menus.
After choosing by which columns to sort, you then select the type of data in the column. Select the type of data contained in the column from the “Type:” and “Using:” drop-down menus. Your data type choices are text, number, or date. Then select in what order you want to sort the column’s data: “Ascending” or “Descending.”
Sort a Table in Word: Instructions
To show field names in the “Sort by” drop-downs for tables with column headers, select the “Header row” option.
This option appears in the “My list has” section at the bottom of this dialog box.
If you don’t have column headers, instead select the column number by which you want to sort the data.
Select either the column names or numbers from the “Sort by” drop-down menus.
After choosing by which columns to sort, then select the type of data in the column.
Select the type of data contained in the column from the “Type:” and “Using:” drop-down menus. Your data type choices are text, number, or date.
Then select in which order to sort the column’s data. You can choose either “Ascending” or “Descending” order.
To sort a table in Word by multiple columns, repeat steps 7 through 10 within the following “Then by” sections, as needed.
Sort a Table in Word: Video Lesson
The following video lesson, titled ” Sorting Tables,” shows how to sort a table in Word. The following video lesson on how to sort a table in Word is from our complete Word tutorial, titled ” Mastering Word Made Easy v.2019 and 365.”
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