A table is a grid of rows and columns with cells in which you can insert text and graphics. They are useful for many different purposes in word processing, for example, when you want neat columns of text or numbers across the page. The table doesn’t even have to look like a “table”, if you don’t display the lines that form the grid.

Below is an example of a table:

Time Programme
18:00 The Angelus
18:01 RTE News and Weather
19:00 Nationwide
19:30 The Design Doctors
19:57 The Lotto
20:00 Fair City
20:30 Garda Down Under

Creating a table

To create a table:

  1. Position the cursor where you want to place the table.
  2. Press Alt + N for the Insert Ribbon.
  3. Press T for Table.
  4. Now choose the size of the table: arrow down the number of rows required and then arrow to the right for the number of columns.
  5. Press Enter to insert the table into your document.

You can always add rows and columns later if you are unsure of how big the table needs to be. To do this, position anywhere in the table and press the Applications Key (or Shift + F10) to get a menu of choices for inserting more rows and columns.

Entering Text and Navigating Tables

When Word inserts an empty table in a document, it positions the cursor in the first cell on row 1 and column 1. You can start typing in the text straight away.

When you reach the end of the cell as you type, the text automatically goes onto the next line and the height of the cell changes automatically to accommodate the text.

  • To move to next cell in a row, press Tab.
  • To move to previous cell in a row, press Shift + Tab.
  • To move to the previous row, press Up Arrow.
  • To move to the next row, press Down Arrow.
  • To go on to a new line within a cell, press Enter.
  • To add a row to the end of the table, press Tab in the last cell.
  • To move to the first cell in a column, press Alt + Page Up.
  • To move to the last cell in a column, press Alt + Page Down.
  • To move to the first cell in a row, press Alt + Home.
  • To move to the last cell in a row, press Alt + End.

Selecting rows and columns

  • To select a row, position at the beginning of the row, hold down the Shift key and arrow to the end of the row.
  • To select a column, position at the top of the column, hold down the Shift key and arrow to the bottom of the column.
  • To select a whole table, press Alt + Numpad 5 (with Num Lock Off).

Clearing rows and columns

  • To clear the contents of a row, select the row and then press the Delete key.
  • To clear the contents of a column, select the column and then press the Delete key.
  • To clear the contents of a table, select the whole table and then press the Delete key.

Deleting rows and columns

  • To delete a row, select the row, then press the Backspace key.
  • To delete a column, select the column, then press the Backspace key.
  • To delete a table, select the whole table, then press the Backspace key.

General rule:

To clear contents of cells, rows, column or whole table, use the Delete key.

To delete cells, rows, column or whole table, use the Backspace key.

Adding Rows and Columns

To add another row or column:

  1. Position the cursor on an adjacent row/column.
  2. Press the Applications Key (or Shift + F10).
  3. Arrow down to Insert and press Enter.
  4. Arrow down to the appropriate choice for your new row or column and press Enter.