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Create a Table in Microsoft Word

Tables can be quite fiddly to set up and format. But they are very good for presenting figures and statistics. We're going to design three tables. We'll see how to set up the first one now. When it's finished it will look like this:

The Table


As you can see, not many tourists wander into the vilage. I think the people of Evercrease like it that way!

To set up your first table, then, do the following:

  • Start a new Word document
  • From the menu bar, click on Table
  • From the menu that drops down, click Insert
  • A sub menu appears
  • From the sub menu, click Table

The Table Menu

When you click Insert > Table you get a dialogue box popping up. This one below:

The Insert Table Dialogue Box

The table we're going to draw has 8 columns and 2 rows. So change the Number of columns to 8. Then click the OK button. Your page will look like this:

A Word Table with 8 Columns and 2 Rows

The squares in the table that Word has drawn for you are called Cells. Your cursor will be flashing in the first cell. You can go ahead and type into cells. Type the following into the first row of your table:

French, Americans, Welsh, Scots, Irish, Germans, Japanese, Others

To get the cursor into the next cell you can either press the tab key on your keyboard, or just click inside the cell with your left mouse button. When you're finished, your table will look like this one:

The top row with data in it

If you move your mouse pointer up to the top left of the table, you'll notice that a little cross appears in a box. While in the bottom right of the table a white square appears. Like in the image below:

The Move icon is top left, the Resize icon bottom right

The black cross in the box is the table Move symbol. To use it, hold down your left mouse button and drag the table somewhere else on your page. But the process is a bit fiddly. The white square, bottom right, is the resize symbol. It works in the same way as the other white resize squares you have met.

You now need to enter some figures into your tables. So enter the following numbers into the second row of the table (you don't need to insert the commas):

2, 1, 0, 5, 5, 1, 2, 0

Your table should now look like the one below:

The Table with Numbers

As you can see, it's not very tidy at the moment. To tidy it up, do the following

  • Highlight the text in the table. (You highlight the text in a table just as you would highlight any other text.)
  • Make the text bold in the normal way
  • Centre your text in the normal way
  • Your table should now be like the one below:

The data is centred and made bold

It's looking a bit better. We can format the table some more, though. We'll add a background colour to the bottom row. To add a background colour, do the following

  • Highlight the second row of your table (Click just to the left of the second row)
  • Click on Table from the menu bar
  • From the drop down list click on Table Properties, right at the bottom of the menu

When you click Table Properties, you get a dialogue box popping up. Click on the Table tab:

The Table Properties dialogue box

Click the Borders and Shading button right at the bottom.

When you click the Borders and Shading button, yet another dialogue box pops up. This time click on the Shading tab to bring up the Shading tab strip:

The Shading Dialogue box

Select a background colour by clicking on any of the little colour squares on the left. Then click the OK button.

When you click OK, you'll be taken back to the Table Properties dialogue box. Click the OK button on this as well.

You'll now have a background colour for the second row. Your table will now look like the one below:

The Finished Table


In the next part, you'll see how to make the cell size bigger, and how to get rid of internal borders.

Learn about Table Cells and Table Border-->

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