PowerPoint 2010: Working with Tables


Tables are a useful tool in PowerPoint 2010 for organizing and presenting data in a structured format. They allow information to be displayed in rows and columns, making data easy to read and compare.

In this article, we will cover the basics of working with tables in PowerPoint 2010, including:

  • Inserting tables
  • Applying table styles
  • Formatting tables
  • Modifying table structure
  • Animating tables

Inserting Tables

There are a few different ways to insert a table in PowerPoint 2010:

  • Insert Table Dialog Box – Go to the Insert tab > Table group > click Insert Table. This opens a dialog box where you can specify the number of rows and columns.
  • Draw Table – Go to the Insert tab > Table group > click Draw Table. Then click and drag in the slide to draw a table with the desired rows and columns.
  • Insert Table Template – Go to the Insert tab > Table group > click the table template you want. This inserts a preformatted table layout.
  • Copy from Excel – You can copy a table from Excel and paste it into PowerPoint. This retains the Excel formatting and data.

Once inserted, you can add and edit text inside the table cells just like regular text boxes.

Applying Table Styles

To quickly format an entire table, use the Table Styles gallery on the Design tab. It contains preset color schemes and designs to choose from.

Some things to note about table styles:

  • Hover over a style to preview it on your table
  • Check/uncheck the header row and total row boxes to toggle those table elements
  • Click the More button to see additional styles

You can also create a custom table style and add it to the gallery.

Formatting Tables

In addition to table styles, you can manually format table elements:

Borders and Gridlines

Control border width, color, and style on the Design tab. Toggle the view of gridlines on and off.

Fonts and Alignment

Format the text fonts, size, color, etc and align text left/right/center on the Layout tab.

Rows and Columns

Adjust row height and column width by dragging the edges. Add and delete rows/columns as needed on the Layout tab.

Position and Size

Move the entire table by dragging it. Resize the full table by dragging the corners. Lock aspect ratio to retain shape.

Modifying Table Structure

There are a few ways to insert, delete, merge, and split table cells and rows:

  • Insert – Add rows above or cells to the left
  • Delete – Delete selected rows, columns, cells, or entire table
  • Merge – Merge selected cells into one larger cell
  • Split – Split a cell into multiple new cells

These options are all found on the Layout tab.

Animating Tables

To animate parts of a table:

  1. Select the table and Copy it
  2. Paste it back in as a Picture
  3. On the Animations tab, add animations to individual cells

This converts the table to a picture you can animate piece-by-piece.

You can make cells appear, emphasize with motions, transform sizes/shapes, and more.


Tables are a great way to present data in PowerPoint slides. With styles, formatting options, modifiers, and animations, you can create visually appealing tables to effectively communicate information to your audience.

The key features make it simple to:

  • Organize data in rows/columns
  • Apply preset table designs
  • Customize the table appearance
  • Dynamically display parts of a table

So don’t hesitate to use tables in PowerPoint 2010 for your next presentation!