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Tables in Open Office Writer and Impress

Many people I know dislike spreadsheets because they are “math”… which to them is way worse than “lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”

So, in their never-ending endeavors to keep their minds free of math they tend to use a lot of tables to organize information.

Most people when creating tables automatically go to the Insert menu, Table choice and then use the table dialog box.


It’s logical, after all, you are inserting a table and it certainly gets the job done along with giving you access to other settings.

And, if you’re observant then you’ve probably noticed that Writer has a Table menu that you can use for creating and then managing your tables.

But, what if you just want a really quick – put it in the document now! – type of table?

Is there any faster way?

Yep – you know that there is and it’s located on the Standard toolbar in the form of a button that looks like this:


Notice that I’ve clicked the down arrow on the right of the button and we’re presented with a small grid that represents the size of the table you want to create – highlight the number of rows and columns you want to start your table with.

Upon first glance it appears that we can only use this button to insert a 5×5 table – making it mostly useless.

However, if you continue down or right (or both) as you highlight you’ll find that the grid expands to be pretty much as big as your monitor will allow… so we’re talking a whole lot of cells, probably way more than you’ll ever need without giving up and going to the spreadsheet option.

You should also notice once you begin to highlight cells that the bottom of the grid the size of your highlight is displayed as columns x rows.


So it’s not a guess… you can immediately create whatever size table you need with a quick drag through the grid with no dialog boxes required!