Word 2000: Editing Tables

Lesson 25: Editing Tables



By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Edit tables

Editing tables

In the previous lesson, you learned to enter text into tables. In this lesson, you'll learn to format text in tables, modify table structure, use Autoformat, and add borders and shading.

Formatting text in tables

Whatever you do to format text in a paragraph (make it bold green, for example), you can do to text in a table cell. Use the Formatting menu, the Tables and Borders toolbar, or keyboard shortcuts to format text in a table.

Check this outTo view the Tables and Borders toolbar, Choose ViewactionToolbars actionTables and Borders.

Check this outThe tables and borders toolbar provides more formatting options for you to choose from.

Tables and borders toolbars.

Check this outOnce you've built a table, click an option once to place text exactly where you want it in a cell. You can also change text position once you've entered all of your information by selecting the text you want to change.

Rotating text in tables

Have you ever seen a flyer advertising something with tear-away name and phone number tabs? To create that same effect, use Word's text direction feature. You can rotate text so it runs vertically, facing either the right or the left.

To rotate text in a table cell:

  • Select the cell(s) you want to rotate.
  • Click the Change Text Direction button on the Tables and Borders toolbar.
  • Clicking the Change Text Direction button once turns text to the left, the second click turns text to the right, and the third click will bring you back to a horizontal position.

Check this outThe insertion point rotates when entering horizontal text, but editing vertical text is no different from editing horizontal text.

Modifying table structure

While it's easier to enter the exact number of rows and columns when you create a table, you will find that you may need to add or delete a row or column as you're working.

Insert table dialog box.

To add rows:

  • Move the insertion point to the last cell in the table and press the Tab key.

To insert rows in the middle of the table:

  • Place the insertion point anywhere in the table.
  • Choose Tablelesson actionInsertlesson actionRows above OR Rows below.

To delete rows:

  • Select the row(s) you want to delete.
  • Choose TableactionDeleteactionRows


  • Right-click and choose Delete Rows from the shortcut menu.

If you select a single table cell rather than an entire row:

  • Choose TableactionDeleteactionCells from the menu bar. The Delete Cells dialog box appears.
  • Click Shift cells left, Shift cells up, Delete entire row, or Delete entire column.

Delete cells dialog box.

To insert a column:

  • Position the mouse pointer where you want to column to be located.
  • Choose TableactionInsertactionInsert Columns to the Right or Insert Columns to the Left.

Changing column and cell widths

You may need to adjust the size of columns and cells.

To adjust columns and cell width:

  • Hover the insertion point over the border between the row and column.
  • The insertion point changes to a double-headed arrow.
  • Drag the border in either direction.

Word table with resize box.

Check this outTo automatically adjust the size, Choose TableactionAutoFitactionAutoFit to Contents.

Using AutoFormat

If you like using Word's style templates to format your work, AutoFormat provides several formats you can apply easily.

Autoformat dialog box.

To use AutoFormat:

  • Create your table.
  • Click anywhere in the table and choose TableactionTable AutoFormat. The Table AutoFormat dialog box appears.
  • You can apply fonts, colors, borders, and shading using AutoFormat. Scroll through the various formats and check and uncheck the options in the Formats to Apply and Apply special Formats to sections. Check out your changes using the Preview box.
  • Click OK.

Adding borders and shading

If you want to give your table your own decorative touch, you can adjust AutoFormats using the check boxes in the AutoFormats dialog box or start with a clean slate.

To start from scratch, create a table and open the Tables and Borders toolbar by choosing ViewactionToolbarsactionTables and Borders.

Tables and borders toolbar.

The line style, line weight, and border color buttons all format table cell borders.

To change line style or line weight Line Style and Line weight details from Tables nad Borders toolbar. :

  • Click the drop-down arrows next to the buttons to view and select from the list of choices.
  • The mouse pointer turns into a pencil Formatting pencil..
  • Trace the line you want to change.
  • Click anywhere outside the table to change to pencil back into an I-beam.

To change border color:

  • Click the drop-down arrow next to the Border Color button. A color menu appears.
  • Select a color. The I-beam becomes a pencil.
  • Using the pencil, trace the borders you want to color. Don't miss any areas, or the color will not be applied.

Border colors.

To apply a border:

  • Select the cells you want bordered.
  • Select the line style, line weight, and border color.
  • Click the Borders button drop-down menu and choose the border you want.

Table Borders.

To apply shading:

  • Select or place the insertion point inside the cell(s) you want shaded.
  • Click the Shading Color button drop-down arrow. A shading color menu appears.
  • Click a color. Your cell(s) are automatically shaded.

Table with shaded cells.

Did you know?

The Tables and Borders dialog box's features are not limited to tables. You can apply these features to any block of text in a word document. Try it.