Software

Where's the Convert Table To Text command in Word 2007 and 2010

Want to convert a Word 2007 table to text? You won't find the command in the most obvious place, but it's still there.

A Word table is a great tool for organizing related data. They're easy to create, format, and manipulate. My favorite method is to convert existing text to a table, as follows (in Word 2003):

  1. Select the text.
  2. Choose Convert from the Table command.
  3. Select Text To Table.

Converting a table to text is just as easy:

  1. Select the table.
  2. Select Convert from the Table command.
  3. Select Table To Text.

This arrangement of providing both commands on the Table menu makes good sense to me. Unfortunately, you won't find the two commands together in 2007 and 2010. The Text To Table is where you might expect, on the Table dropdown--but notice that there's no Table To Text command.

James Barash recently exposed the elusive command's hiding place for me (although Jody Gilbert wrote about it as well in 10 Things I Can Never Find In Word 2007). The table to text conversion command is on the context Layout tab. This tab is available only when a table is selected. You'll find the Convert To Text command in the Data group. The new placement makes sense in an after-the-fact way but frankly, I think it's going to confuse people. I know it confused me!

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

12 comments
Colinmac
Colinmac

At least once you find a "hidden" command you can right-click its icon and "add to Quick Access Toolbar" -  if it is a command you use often, then it probably should be on the Quick Access Toolbar.

Bruce.Thomas
Bruce.Thomas

The inherent intuition you would expect with commonly used desktop applications is sadly missing from Microsoft's suite.  On the lookout now for an alternative - looks like this dog has had its day.

TechPorVida
TechPorVida

I felt the same about the ribbon and the confusion of not being able to find things quickly.  But like anything else, this old dog has learned new tricks.  I'm comfortable and actually prefer the ribbons.  Although I have to wholeheartedly agree about omitting "table to text" from the Table drop down.  Not to say that then and again I have to Google a "word 2010...," on the whole I'm cool with it. 

pdlarue
pdlarue

sacredcow: I agree with you so much. "Whoever hid the TABLE TO TEXT is an unspeakble moron!" I'm using 2010 and it changed again. Now, you need to: 1) Select the table 2) Select the Layout tab 3) Find the Data section on the ribbon 4) There it is, right next to Formula It took me 40 minutes to find that. Microsoft, quit screwing with your customers. It's not nice.

mathieu.moulard
mathieu.moulard

According to me, Microsoft wants to make our life harder...like usual

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

doctrine it has to be hidden under two or three layers of ribbons just to make life difficult for you.

sacredcow
sacredcow

Whoever hid the TABLE TO TEXT is an unspeakble moron,

shakurqazi
shakurqazi

I found the command fairly easily but that doesnt mean I like Microsoft 2010 format. My brain switches to "weird" mode when I working with Word, etc. In the options there are many options to separating the text after converting from a table. No matter which option I choose, it always separates the text using Paragraph mark, i.e. a different line for each row. I was hoping it would separate the test using comma. Let me know if you are facing this problem.

kolakowskit
kolakowskit

Found the Convert Text to Table, but no Table to Text

stapleb
stapleb

Good old Microsoft!! Thanks again Susan for the warning. I haven't attempted this so did not realise it was "missing". It has saved me another few grey hairs and another trip to the hairdresser.

looker
looker

of course this would not be necessary if microsoft would let us have our old customizable menu... and not the addon product. hate the ribbon

sacredcow
sacredcow

I still can't find command "table to Text" Word 10. jpm

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