Creating a Table

There are two basic ways to create a table in PowerPoint. You can either use the AutoLayout feature, which has a predesignated placeholder for a table, or you can insert a table into any slide when and where you need one.

Using the Table AutoLayout

When you want to create a slide that contains only a table for your presentation, use the AutoLayout feature. This is the easiest method available. Using the table AutoLayout feature provides you with a predesignated placeholder for a table object. To create a table slide using the table AutoLayout, use the following steps:

  1. Insert a new slide by selecting Insert, New Slide from the menu (or any way you like). Select the Table AutoLayout from the New Slide dialog box.

  2. Select the Table layout and click the OK button.

  3. Click the title placeholder and enter a title for the slide (if desired).

  4. Double-click the table placeholder to display the Insert Table dialog box.

  5. Enter the number of columns and rows desired, as shown in Figure 28.1.

    Figure 28.1. Select the number of columns and rows for your table.


  6. Click the OK button.

Inserting a Table in a Slide

When you already have a slide created and want to display a table in addition to other objects, you can use the Insert menu to create the table. To insert a table into any slide, use the following steps:

  1. Display the slide where you want to insert a table.

  2. Select Insert, Table from the menu to display the Insert Table dialog box.

  3. Enter the number of columns and rows desired.

  4. Click the OK button.

After you have inserted a table, PowerPoint should be ready for you to insert text and edit the table. This is referred to as table edit mode . The mouse pointer will look like a little pencil, and you should see the Tables and Borders toolbar. To exit quickly from table edit mode, click anywhere outside the table.

Parts of a Table

Before you jump right in and start entering data into your table, let's take just a minute to understand the parts of a table. A table is made up of rows and columns. The rows are drawn using horizontal lines, and the columns are drawn using vertical lines. At every intersection of a row and column is a cell .

Although PowerPoint does not label the rows and columns, it is sometimes helpful to do so. Some people reference cells by indicating the row and column the particular cell is in, such as "The information in row 3, column 3 demonstrates the need for more education in vaccination." Another method used is to designate each row by a number and each column by a letter. This is the method used in the PowerPoint chart program and in many spreadsheet programs, such as Excel. This naming process makes it easy to reference the individual cells. Although PowerPoint does not reference cells in this manner, Figure 28.2 shows a table with the cell references typed in.

Figure 28.2. The columns, rows, and cells can be easily referenced by letters and numbers .


Navigating a Table

Before you can enter text in a specific cell, you must first position the blinking cursor in that cell. You have several options available to you:

  • Click with the mouse in the cell.

  • Use the up-, down-, left-, or right-arrow keys on the keyboard.

  • Press the Tab key to move the cursor to the next cell.

  • Press the Shift+Tab key combination to move the cursor to the previous cell.


Using the Tab key or Shift+Tab key combination is a quick way to move the cursor to another cell in a table. However, PowerPoint is actually selecting the entire cell when you use this method. This is not really apparent, nor does it matter if there is no text in a cell.

However, if you have information already entered in a cell, this could potentially cause a problem. When a cell is selected and you start typing, you replace the current contents with the new data you are typing. If this happens to you, use the undo button right away. To avoid this problem, use the mouse or the arrow keys to navigate a table.


If you press the Tab key while in the last cell of the table, you will add a row to the end of the table. If you don't want the additional row, just click the undo button on the standard toolbar.

Sams Teach Yourself Office Productivity All in One
Sams Teach Yourself Office Productivity All in One (Sams Teach Yourself All in One)
ISBN: 0672325349
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 474
Authors: Greg Perry © 2008-2017.
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