10 Word Table Secrets

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9. Convert a Table to Text, and Vice Versa

You can easily convert tables to regular text and remove the table layout if required.
If you have text in a table that you’d prefer to appear as regular text—if, say, you copied a table from a website and pasted it into a document—here’s an easy way to make the conversion. Select the table by clicking the icon outside its top-left corner, and choose Table Tools > Layout > Convert to Text. When prompted, choose to separate the text using paragraph marks, tabs, or some other character (paragraph marks is usually the best option), and click OK. Word will remove the table and convert the data to regular text.

Word also allows you to perform the opposite conversion, turning regular text into a table. Select the text and click Insert > Table > Convert Text to Table. Choose the number of columns for your table, and let Word automatically select the number of rows. Indicate whether to separate the text at paragraphs, commas, tabs, or another character (specify which character), and click OK. Once the data is in the table, you can rearrange it as you see fit.

10. Quickly Number Table Rows

You can number the rows in a table in such a way that they will automatically update if you add, move, or remove rows. Add a new column in which to place the numbers, select it (or select an existing column if you want to place numbers in front of the contents of each cell in that column), and click Home > Numbering.

10 Word Table Secrets
In Word you can number table rows just as you do paragraphs, and if you move a row then the numbering updates automatically.

Word will automatically number the cells in the table. If you move a row to a different position—if, for example, you use the Shift-Alt-Up Arrow or Shift-Alt-Down Arrow keystrokes—the row numbers will instantly update.

Bonus Table Tip

One confusing aspect of working with a table is deleting it when you no longer want it. To do this in one keystroke, click the indicator outside the top-left corner of the table and press the Backspace key.

Doing so deletes the entire table, contents and all, whereas pressing the Delete key simply removes the contents and leaves the table in place.

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