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Converting Text to a Table in Word

We’ve all done it – we’ve begun typing up a list of items and then realized too late that we should have put it into a table…

Using a table to organize and present our information is often an easy way to accomplish our task.

At any rate, back to that already typed list of information… what do we do?

Retype the data? Copy and paste the data into a table? Cry?

I vote for none of the above… instead I’m all for letting Word do all the work by using its Convert Text to Table command.

If you’re on board with that idea (and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be) then here’s what you need to know to make it work for you.

We begin by highlighting the list that we’ve typed.

Now we’re all off to the Insert tab, Table button.

When you click the Table button, you’ll see something slightly different, depending upon your version of Word.

Word 2007 looks like this:


Word 2010 looks like this:


In either case choose Convert Text to Table.

You’ll find yourself faced with this dialog box.


Here, you let Word know how your data is set up and what you want done with it.

In the top, you can set the number of columns and rows for your table. (Word takes the data and interprets it the best it can – trying to figure out where the data should be separated into columns and rows, then it offers you the choices that it finds fesible based on that interpretation.)

In the middle section, choose how you want the table to fit around your data.

At the bottom, there’s another very important setting… the Separate Text at choices where you select how the pieces of information are separated in the list, so Word can separate them into the table cells the same way.

(Keep in mind that should you not like the results of any of the choices you make, a quick Ctrl + Z will undo the table and you can then make new choices.)

Click OK when you’re done.


A table appears with your data in it and you never had to copy and paste a single thing :)

~ April