How to Insert a Table in PowerPoint 2013

Inserting a table into a PowerPoint 2013 presentation is a straightforward process that allows you to organize and present data in rows and columns. This guide will cover the basics of inserting tables, customizing them, and using table styles to format them.

Methods for Inserting a Table

There are a few different ways to insert a table in PowerPoint 2013:

  • Insert Tab – Go to the Insert tab and click the Table icon. Then highlight the number of rows and columns for your table.
  • Right-click – Right-click inside a slide and select “Insert Table” from the context menu. This brings up the insert table dialog box.
  • Draw Table – Go to Insert > Table > Draw Table. Then draw a table by dragging across rows and columns.
  • Convert Text – If you already have text formatted in columns, go to Insert > Table > Convert Text to Table to automatically convert text.

The insert table dialog box gives you precise control to create a custom table by entering the exact number of rows and columns needed.

Customizing and Formatting Tables

Once inserted, tables can be customized and formatted in various ways:

  • Add or delete rows and columns
  • Merge and split cells
  • Change text direction (useful for fitting more columns)
  • Apply built-in table styles
  • Change table style options like banded rows, header rows, etc.
  • Add borders, shading, and effects to cells

The Table Tools contextual tab has everything you need to customize a table after insertion.

Using Table Styles

To quickly format an entire table, use PowerPoint’s built-in table styles located on the Table Tools Design tab.

Some key points about table styles:

  • Single click to apply pre-defined combinations of formatting
  • Options for fills, borders, font colors
  • Gallery shows live preview of each style
  • “Clear” option removes all direct formatting

Table styles allow for easy consistency across tables in a presentation. Additional custom formatting can be applied on top of a style as needed per table.

Tips for Better Tables

Follow these best practices when inserting and formatting tables:

  • Use consistent fonts, colors, and styles throughout
  • Remove gridlines and borders if not needed
  • Use alternating fill colors to help readability
  • Add header rows to label columns
  • Break up wide tables on one slide into multiple slides if needed

Well-designed tables allow audiences to easily digest and retain data insights. Spending a little time to optimize PowerPoint tables can go a long way in improving comprehension.


Whether you need a basic grid to present data or an intricately formatted table, PowerPoint 2013 provides the tools to create exactly what you need. With the ability to draw, convert, customize, and quickly style tables, PowerPoint makes inserting and formatting tables simple and efficient. Use these tips to help take your PowerPoint tables from bland to beautiful.