Word's report-creation power shines when you see how easily you can compose customized tables of information in Word documents. Tables are collections of information organized in rows and columns . Tables might contain numbers , text, even graphics, or combinations of any of these. Each row and column intersection is called a cell . As you begin to use both Word and Excel, you might want to embed part of an Excel worksheet into a Word table. Embedded worksheets enable you to report financial data from within Word. ( Hour 6, "Understanding Excel 2003 Workbooks," introduces Excel.)
To Do: Create a New Table
To create a new table, perform these steps:
Traversing the Table
One of the easiest ways to enter data in a table's cell is to click the cell (which moves the cursor to the cell) and type. As you type past the cell's right margin, Word wraps the cell and increases the row height (if needed) to display the complete cell contents.
When you begin typing data, notice that Word's automatic formatting might not match the table's data; perhaps one of the columns is too narrow or too wide. Use your mouse to adjust the size of a row or a column's width by clicking and dragging one of the table's four edges in or out. You can also expand or shrink individual columns and rows by dragging their edges.
Although you can click a cell with your mouse every time you want to enter or edit the contents of that cell, the cursor-movement keystrokes come in handier because you can traverse the table without ever removing your hands from the keyboard. Table 5.1 describes how to traverse a table's rows and columns.
Table 5.1. Moving Around a Table
To select a row or column, click the margin to the left of the row or in the area above the column. The Table, Select menu also provides a row and column selection option if you find that easier to use. When you select a column or row, Word highlights the selected item. After Word selects a row or column, you can drag your mouse down, up, left, or right to select additional rows or columns.
Inserting New Columns and Rows
Not creating enough rows or columns for your table is one of the first table problems you will encounter. To insert or delete rows or columns, select a row or column and right-click your mouse in the margin to the left of the row or directly above the column. The menu that appears enables you to add rows or columns.
Suppose that you need to insert a column. Select the column that will appear after the new column by pointing above the column until the mouse pointer changes to a down arrow. Select multiple columns by dragging your mouse to the right after you select one column. Right-click your mouse to display a pop-up menu. The menu differs , depending on whether you select a row or column first. Select Insert Columns, and Word inserts a new column to the left of the selected column. The right-click menu also contains a Delete Columns command. Keep in mind that the Table, Insert menu provides additional row and column insertion options that you can explore.
Drawing Tables Freehand
As you have seen, the Tables menu option gives you complete control over tables you create. Word goes one step further to help you create exactly the table you want. The Standard toolbar's Tables and Borders button enables you to draw tables freehand the way you might draw using a pencil and paper. The Tables and Borders button enables you to quickly draw tables that don't necessarily have an equal number of columns for each row.
Follow these steps to use the Tables and Borders button:
After you draw the table's basic outline, use the Border Color, Outside Border, and Shading Color tools to modify the table's colors. The remaining tools enable you to modify the table in many ways, including the following: