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11.6: Create Tables

  • Page ID
    46599
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    Learning Objectives

    • Create tables in slides

    Creating tables in PowerPoint supports conveying data, financials or information about products, sales, services, or almost anything. The most effective use of a table in PowerPoint is its ability to compare information at a glance. At the same time, creating large, hyper detailed tables in a presentation can backfire and generate frustration since most presentations move quickly or are projected at a distance making it harder to read quickly. The most effective use of a table in a presentation is as a summary of simple comparative information.

    There are the four methods that PowerPoint provides to add tables into a presentation. Let’s take a look at each method.

    First Method

    1. Open a new slide using the Table and Content slide. Enter the Title of the slide, then click on the Insert tab.
      PowerPoint screenshot of open presentation highlighting how to insert a new slide for a table.PowerPoint screenshot of open presentation with a new slide ready for adding a table.
    2. Select the Table button and drag the cursor over the number of rows and columns you want to use in the slide. The table will now appear in the slide, colored in the presentation theme colors.
      1. Type the information into the table.
      2. If you wish to add an extra row, a short-cut way is to place the cursor in the bottom right, last cell and press the tab key. A new row is now created in the table.
    PowerPoint screenshot of open presentation with a new slide and the insert table process where a new table is added by highlighting a number of cubes.

    Second Method

    1. Another way to insert a table in a PowerPoint slide is to go to Insert tab and insert a new slide.
    2. This time click on the small table icon in the center.
      • Alternatively, select Insert tab, Table button, Insert Table option and a dialogue box opens.
        PowerPoint screenshot of open presentation with a new slide and the insert table process where a new table is added by insert table button.
    3. Once the Insert Table dialog box opens, enter the number of columns and rows for the table, click OK.
      PowerPoint screenshot of open presentation with a new slide and the insert table process where a new table dialog box is open with suggested row and column numbers.
    4. A new, empty table will open in the center of the slide ready for data input. Notice two new tabs opened in the menu above the ribbon as well; Table Design and Layout. Here styles can be changed, shading, SmartArt, and boarders, as well as a host of other table layout options to change a table to suite the presentation best.
    PowerPoint screenshot of open presentation with a new slide and the new empty table inserted into slide.

    Third Method

    1. The third way to create a new table is go to Insert tab, Table button, select Draw Table option and the cursor becomes a pencil.
      PowerPoint screenshot of open presentation with a new slide and empty green inserted table drawn into the slide.
    2. Hold down the left mouse button and drag the pencil cursor to fit the size of table desired within the slide.
      PowerPoint screenshot of open presentation with a new inserted table being drawn into the slide with highlighted Table design tab.
    3. Once the table is created, PowerPoint opens the two additional tabs; Table Design and Layout.
    4. The Table Design tab contains options to change the table style, effects, shading, boarders and WordArt styles.
      PowerPoint screenshot of open presentation with a new inserted table being drawn into the slide with style options in table design tab.
    5. The Layout tab allows you to work on the rows and columns, merge cells, change cell size, alignment, the table size and arranging the table position.
      1. Tables function the same in PowerPoint as they do in Word with creating, entering data, changing layout or colors or boarder styles.
      2. A table in PowerPoint can also be treated like an object or graphic and brought forward, back, or rearranged like a drawing through the Arrange group.
    PowerPoint screenshot of open presentation with a new inserted table being drawn into the slide with options in layout tab.

    Fourth Method

    1. The last way to create a table in PowerPoint is to select the Excel table option in the Insert, Table, Excel Spreadsheet in the dropdown menu.
      PowerPoint screenshot of open presentation with a new slide and the insert Excel Spreadsheet button highlighted.
    2. Excel opens within PowerPoint giving access to the functions available in an Excel spreadsheet. This way calculations, formulas and functions can be used to create a table within PowerPoint without the need to import a table from Excel. Start typing information and data into the Excel table.
      PowerPoint screenshot of open presentation with a new slide and inserted Excel Spreadsheet highlighted. Showing that the menu options are now from Excel.
    3. Along with entering information to be included in the table, you can create formulas, or use other Excel functions in a spreadsheet.
      PowerPoint screenshot of open presentation with a new slide and inserted Excel Spreadsheet highlighted. Showing that the menu options are now from Excel.
    4. When the table is complete, click outside of the table area onto the slide and the table will be converted back into a PowerPoint table view.
      PowerPoint screenshot of presentation with filled in Excel Spreadsheet table. The upper menu now if back to PowerPoint.
    5. If data in the Excel table needs editing, double click on the table and it will open Excel again allowing editing.
    6. This table, or any of the tables, can be moved or resized like other objects in an Office program to match the scale needed for the presentation.

    Contributors and Attributions

    CC licensed content, Original
    • Create Tables. Authored by: Sherri Pendleton. Provided by: Lumen Learning. License: CC BY: Attribution

    11.6: Create Tables is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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