Convert text to a table or a table to text

Sometimes you want to display paragraphs and lists in more visually appealing tables. Word provides an easy way convert text to a table.

Start by clicking Home >Show/Hide so you can see the tabs and paragraph marks in your document.

Turn on or off non-printing characters

Convert text to a table

  1. Insert separator characters (separator characters: Characters you choose to indicate where you want text to separate when you convert a table to text, or where you want new rows or columns to begin when you convert text to a table.)—such as commas or tabs—to indicate where to divide the text into table columns.

 Tip    Use tabs if you have commas in your text.

  1. Use paragraph marks to indicate where you want to begin a new table row, and select all of the text you want to convert to a table.

This example shows two tabs inserted to create a 3-column table, and one paragraph mark inserted to create a second row.

Text to convert to table

  1. Click Insert > Table > Convert Text to Table.

Convert Text to Table

  1. In the Convert Text to Table box, choose your options.

Convert Text to Table Box

Under Number of columns, make sure the number matches the columns you want.

Under AutoFit behavior, choose how you want your table to look:

Word automatically chooses a width for the table columns. If you want another column width, choose a number from the Fixed column width box, or click AutoFit to contents, as in this example, for Word to resize the columns to fit the text.

AutoFit to window resizes the table automatically in case the width of the available space changes (for example, web layout or landscape orientation).

Under Separate text at, choose the separator character you used in the text.

The text converted to a table should look something like this:

   Table

Convert a table to text

  1. Select the rows or table that you want to convert to paragraphs.
  2. Under Table Tools, click Layout > Data > Convert to Text.

Convert to Text

  1. In the Convert to Text box, under Separate text at, click the separator character (separator characters: Characters you choose to indicate where you want text to separate when you convert a table to text, or where you want new rows or columns to begin when you convert text to a table.) to use in place of the column boundaries.

Rows are separated with paragraph marks.

If you don't see the number of columns that you expect, you may be missing a separator character in one or more lines of text.

 
 
Applies to:
Word 2013