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Creating A Table In MS Word Without A Mouse

Monday, November 22nd, 2004 by | Filed Under: MS Word

Creating A Table In MS Word Without A Mouse


You can create a table without a mouse?

Are you sure?

Yes – I am and it’s easier than you might think.

All you need to know is how to line up your plus and minuses.

(Yeah – I said plus and minuses.)

To get Word to draw a table, without a mouse, you need to start by going to the place where you want the left side of the table to begin. (You can begin your table at the left margin or tab in some for an indented table.)

Once you’re in the right location then type a plus sign (+) followed by a series of minus signs (-). The longer the string of minus signs, the wider the column becomes. Then, when you’re ready to start a new column, type a plus sign again (+), followed by more minus signs (-) to create the width of the second column.

Keep repeating the pattern, where a plus sign (+) indicates a new column and the minus signs (-) create the width of the column, until you’ve created the number of columns needed.

Then, to end your table put one last plus sign.

Then hit the Enter key.

Poof! You should have a 1-row table. (We’ll get to adding more rows in a minute.)

For example – this string of signs

***If this isn’t working for you then you need to go to the Tools menu, AutoCorrect choice. Then on the AutoFormat As You Type tab make sure the tables option is checked in the As you type section


Now we move on to the issue of additional rows.

Of course you’re free to use the mouse in the Table menu, Insert Rows choice.

However, if you want to add a row without the mouse you have a couple of choices.

The first is to press Alt, then A, and then the I key. (Basically the key equivalent to the mouse and the menus.) Then hit the F4 key to continue adding rows.

Another choice would be to go to the last cell in the table (far right cell or, if in a table with many rows, the bottom right cell) and hit the Tab key. (You can use the Tab key to scroll through to the last cell or, if you’re in the last row, you can hit Alt + End to get to the last cell in the row.)

And there you have it – quick tables without mice.

Who would have thought that all those plus and minus signs had a use beyond math class and driving you crazy?

~ April

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