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Need to add a table to your Word document? Just draw it!

If you need to insert a table into your Word document, skip the pre-made tables from the menus and draw it yourself. You may even end up spending less time formatting them! Here's how.

Sometimes, you just want to insert a simple table in the middle of your paragraph but don't want to have to choose among the ready-made tables Word gives you. You could click and drag over the table grid, but that would give you a table that extends from margin to margin. You could use the Table dialog box, or you could just draw it to your specifications — for example, a 2x2-inch table with four cells (Figure A) at the right margin in line with the text. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Tables And Borders button in the Standard toolbar and then click the Draw Table tool in the first row of the Tables And Borders toolbar. (In Word 2007, click the Insert tab, then click Table, then click Draw Table.)
  2. Press and hold the [Ctrl] key.
  3. Click and drag the "pencil" pointer to draw the outside border of the table.
  4. Release the [Ctrl] key.
  5. Click in the middle of the top border and drag the pencil pointer to the middle of the bottom border.
  6. Click the middle of the left border and drag to the middle of the right border.
  7. Double-click outside the table to return the pointer to an arrow.

Figure A

Figure A

You can now format the table using the tools in the Tables And Borders toolbar (or the Table Tools Ribbon in Word 2007). To erase a line, click the eraser tool in the Tables And Borders toolbar (or the Word 2007 Design tab), then click the line you want to remove.

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