PowerPoint 2007: Working with Tables

Inserting and Creating Tables

There are a few different ways to insert a table in PowerPoint 2007:

  • On the Insert tab, click the Table button and select the number of rows and columns you want. PowerPoint will insert a blank table with the specified dimensions.
  • Draw a table using the Draw Table tool. Just select the number of rows and columns from the drop down menu, and click and drag to draw a table box on your slide.
  • Copy a table from another Office program like Word or Excel, and paste it into your PowerPoint slide. The table formatting will be retained.

You can also click on the Insert Table icon on the standard toolbar to launch the insert table dialog box.

Once the table is inserted, you can add text and other content into the table cells.

Formatting and Styling Tables

PowerPoint 2007 makes it easy to apply formatting to tables. Using the Table Tools contextual tab, you have lots of options:

Table Styles

  • Apply a pre-defined table style to instantly format the table with colors, borders, shading etc. Just select the style you want from the gallery.
  • Clear any applied styles using the Clear Table Style command.

Borders and Gridlines

  • Add or remove borders from the entire table or specific cells.
  • Show or hide gridlines that separate the cells.

Alignment and Spacing

  • Align text left, right, center etc. within table cells.
  • Set margins inside cells and spacing between cells.
  • Distribute rows and columns evenly for consistent layout.

Modifying Table Structure

You can easily insert, delete, merge and split table cells in PowerPoint 2007:

  • Insert rows/columns: Click inside a cell next to where you want to add a row or column. Use the Insert commands on the Layout tab.
  • Delete rows/columns: Select the rows or columns you want to remove, and click the Delete command on the Layout tab.
  • Merge Cells: Select the cells you want to merge and use the Merge Cells button on the Layout tab.
  • Split Cells: Select the cell you wish to divide and click the Split Cells command.

These options let you modify your table structure on the fly.

Working with Large Tables

When inserting a large table with many rows and columns, PowerPoint 2007 offers some useful features:

  • Repeat header row on each page: Check this box on the Layout tab so that your header row appears at the top whenever the table spans across multiple slides or pages.
  • Allow row to break across pages: Enable this to let a row display continuously across page breaks. Disable to keep all rows confined to page boundaries.

Using these options, you can ensure readability of large tables in your presentations.

Converting Text to Table

If you already have slide content that you want to convert to a table structure, PowerPoint 2007 lets you do this easily:

  1. Select the text you want to convert
  2. On the Insert tab, click Text to Table
  3. In the dialog box, specify how you want the text divided into columns/rows
  4. The text will now become an editable table

This feature is useful for organizing existing content into neat rows/columns.

Inserting Images and Charts in Tables

To spice up your PowerPoint tables, you can insert pictures, icons, charts and more:

  • Just paste or drag-drop an image into a table cell. Resize and position it as needed.
  • Copy a chart from Excel and paste it into a table cell, retaining all its formatting.
  • Draw shapes and icons directly inside a table using the PowerPoint drawing tools.

Embellishing tables in this manner makes for more visually appealing slides.

Final Touches

Don’t forget the finishing formatting touches that can make your tables stand out:

  • Apply solid fills or gradient fills to table rows/columns
  • Add borders and effects like shadows, glows etc.
  • Use text formatting like different fonts, colors and styles within the table cells

Take advantage of PowerPoint’s formatting features to customize your tables exactly how you want them. With a bit of practice, you’ll be working efficiently with tables in no time!