I often see people struggling with tables in Word. They create a table by inserting it. There is nothing wrong with that. But what they then need is different sized cells or columns down the table and they spend a long time merging cells and highlighting and dragging boundaries.
Nothing wrong with that at all except there are 4 different ways to insert a table in Word.
- Insert Table selecting a number of columns and rows.
- Inserting Excel spreadsheet.
- Drawing a table.
- Inserting Quick Tables.
I’m going to show you how to draw one today. Watch out for my tips on the others.
My suggestion is to draw out on a piece of paper roughly the shape and where you want the different sized cells to be before you create the table in your document.
How to draw a table
- Start off with a blank document.
- From the Insert Tab select Table.
- From the list select Draw Table
Your mouse pointer now looks like a pencil.
Start at the top left of the table you are about to draw.
- Click hold down the mouse and drag it to the bottom right corner of the table you need to draw.
You see a dotted line appear as you draw. When you let go of the mouse button the table appears with a border.
- Move your mouse pointer to where you would like a column to start at the top of the table and drag the mouse downwards. You will see that the line appears all the way down to reach the bottom border.
- Keep drawing as many lines as required. Down the table and across to set rows.
- Once you have drawn the lines you want you can remove some of them with an eraser. This is found on the Table Tools Layout tab in the second section named Draw.
With this you can do the same as drawing a line just run over a line you don’t want and it will disappear.
When you have finished put the drawing tool away by clicking on the Draw Table tool in the Layout Tab.
When you are happy with the design of your table you can start to input the words and data you need to see there. Please note that you cannot use the Tab Key to move from one cell to another as there is no sequence to the construction of the cells therefore click in the cell you need to add data to.
Here is an example of a drawn table.
Watch out for my tip on applying borders and shading to tables.
Happy table drawing.