Friday, 12 April 2013

FORMATTING TABLE CELLS - MS Word 2010 Tutorial

Author: Navin Kumar

A table is made up of several cells. These cells can be formatted in order to improve the readability of data.

Cells of a table created in Microsoft Word can be merged, split and shaded. You can put borders around the cells, change their height and width and change the alignment of text contained within the cells.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to format cells of a MS Word table.

Task

Download the MS Word file titled “Formatting Table Cells” from the About Tutorials page. The document has the following table displaying the marks obtained by three students :


Perform following tasks on this table:
  1. The three columns below “Marks Obtained” are actually its sub-columns. Hence, the “Marks Obtained” column should span the three sub columns. To do this, merge the “Marks Obtained” cell with the two cells at its right and centre the text in the merged cell.
  2. There is a blank cell below the cell containing “Student”. Merge this cell with the “Student” cell and centre the text vertically in the new cell.
  3. Centre the text in every cell below the “Marks Obtained” heading.
  4. You are required to create an additional sub column before the “Total” sub column in which the marks of “Science” paper will be entered. For this, split the “Maths’ cell and every cell below it into two cells. Enter the sub-column heading as “Science” and enter 95, 68 and 72 marks for Anil, Birendra and Raj Kumar. Enter new totals in the ‘Total’ column after including the marks obtained in Science paper.
  5. Put single line border around all cells inside the table and double line border around the outer sides of the table.
  6. Shade the “Student” cell as well as all cells below it in light grey colour and the “Marks Obtained” cell in Dark Blue colour.
  7. You will notice that the sub-columns below “Marks Obtained” are too wide as compared to the data/ text in them. Remove the excess space in the sub-columns and thereafter make them of the same width.
  8. Change the column width of the ‘Student’ column to 1 inch.
  9. Increase the font size of “Student’ and “Marks Obtained” to 18. The height of the “Marks Obtained” row will increase. Now increase the height of all the other rows to the same extent so that all rows of the table are of the same height.
  10. Change the row height of all rows below ‘Student’ Cell to 0.4 inch.

Step-by-step Instructions

SELECTING A CELL, A COLUMN OR A ROW
  • To select a cell of a table, move the mouse pointer inside the cell near its bottom left corner until it takes the shape of a solid black arrow pointing diagonally upwards to the right, then click the left mouse button. The cell will be selected and highlighted.
  • To select a column of a table, move the mouse pointer to the top boundary of the topmost cell of the column until it assumes the shape of a solid black arrow pointing vertically downwards and then click the left mouse button. The column will be selected and highlighted.
  • To select a row of a table, click in the left margin by the side of the row. The row will be selected.

Task-1: Merging Cells
  1. Select the cell containing the text “Marks Obtained”.
  2. Keeping the left mouse button pressed, move the pointer to the last cell (i.e. the right most cell) of the row. All the three cells will be highlighted i.e. selected.
  3. Either click the highlighted portion and select ‘Merge Cells’ from the context menu or click the ‘Table Tools Layout’ tab and click the ‘Merge Cells’ button in the ‘Merge’ group (see Figure 1). The three cells will be merged into one large cell spanning the sub columns below.
  4. Select the text “Marks Obtained”. The Mini toolbar will appear.
  5. Click the ‘Centre’ button. “Marks Obtained” will be centred in the merged cell.

    Table Tools Layout tab in MS Word 2010
    Figure 1
Task-2: Vertically Aligning Text Within Cell
  1. Select the “Student” cell and the cell below it. The cells will be highlighted.
  2. Right click the highlighted portion and click ‘Merge Cells’. The two cells will merge.
  3. Right click within the merged cell. The context menu will appear.
  4. Click ‘Cell Alignment’ on the context menu. A gallery of nine text alignment options will open.
  5. Select ‘Align Centre Left’. The text will be vertically centred in the merged cell while retaining its left aligned position horizontally.

 TIP!
  • The nine text alignment buttons can be accessed either by clicking ‘Cell Alignment’ option of the Context Menu or by clicking the ‘Table Tools Layout’ tab on the Ribbon where you will find them in the ‘Alignment’ group.
  • These buttons provide one-click ability to choose both the vertical and horizontal alignment of text in the cell.

Task-3: Horizontally Aligning Text Within Cell
  1. Select the cell containing “English”.
  2. Keeping the mouse button pressed, move the mouse pointer horizontally to the last cell at right and then vertically to the last row. All cells below the heading “Marks Obtained” will be selected and highlighted.
  3. Release the mouse button. The Mini Toolbar will appear.
  4. Click the ‘Centre’button. Text will be horizontally centred in each selected cell.

Task-4: Splitting Cells
Split Cells Dialog Box
Figure 2
  1. Place the cursor in the “Maths” cell and right click the mouse. The context menu will appear.
  2. Select “Split Cells”. The ‘Split Cells’ dialog box will appear (see Figure 2) with default values of 2 and 1 respectively for number of columns and number of rows.
  3. Since, the cell is to be split into two, accept the default values and click the ‘OK’ button to close the dialog box. The cell will be split into two. The existing text “Maths” will be in the first cell and the second cell will be blank.
  4. Repeat the steps above for each of the three cells directly below “Maths” cell. All cells will be split into two. 
  5. Type “Science” in the cell by the side of “Maths” cell.
  6. Enter the marks 95, 68 and 72 for the three students.
  7. Re-total the marks for each student after including the marks obtained in the Science paper and enter the new totals in the ‘Total’ sub-column.

TIP!

You can launch the ‘Split Cells’ dialog box also by clicking the ‘Table Tools Layout’ tab > ‘Split Cells’ button in the ‘Merge’ group.

Task-5: Putting Borders Around Cells and Table
  1. Hover the mouse over the table. A tiny square with a four headed arrow will appear above the top left corner of the table. This is the ‘Table Selector’ (see Figure 3).
  2. Click the ‘Table Selector’. The entire table will be selected and the ‘Table Tools Design and Layout” tabs will appear on the Ribbon (see Figure 3).
  3. Click the ‘Design’ tab.
  4. Click the down pointing arrow beside the ‘Line Style’ button in the ‘Draw Borders’ group. A drop-down menu of line styles will open.
  5. Select single line style.
  6. Click the down pointing arrow beside the ‘Borders’ button. A drop-down menu of border styles will open.
  7. Select ‘Inside Borders’. MS Word will apply single line borders around all cells inside the table, but the table outline will remain borderless.
  8. Again click the down pointing arrow beside the ‘Line Style’ button in the ‘Draw Borders’ group. The drop-down menu of line styles will open.
  9. Select double line style.
  10. Click the down pointing arrow by the side of ‘Borders’ button and select ‘Outside Borders’ from the menu. MS Word will apply double line borders around the table.
Table Tools Design tab in MS Word 2010
Figure 3

Task-6: Shading Cells
  1. Select the ‘Student’ column. All cells in the “Student” column will be selected.
  2. Click the ‘Table Tools Design’ tab (see Figure 3).
  3. Click the down pointing arrow by the side of the ‘Shading’ button. The ‘Theme Colours’ gallery will open.
  4. Click on the dark grey colour. All cells in the “Student” column will be shaded dark grey.
  5. Place the mouse pointer within the “Marks Obtained” cell near its lower left corner. Shape of the pointer will change to a solid black arrow pointing upwards at an angle.
  6. Click the mouse. The cell will be selected.
  7. Click the down pointing arrow by the side of the ‘Shading’ button. The ‘Theme Colours’ gallery will open.
  8. Click on the dark Blue colour. The “Marks Obtained” cell will be shaded dark blue.

Task-7: Removing Excess Space from Columns and Distributing Width of Selected Columns Equally Among Them
  1. To remove excess space from the cells of the ‘English’ column, move the mouse pointer the right boundary of any cell in the column. The mouse pointer will change to a pair of vertical lines with two tiny horizontal arrows pointing left and right.
  2. Double click the mouse. The right cell boundary will jump to the left and get stationed hugging the widest entry in the column.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the ‘Maths’, ‘Science’ and ‘Total’ columns. You will see that excess space from the four columns has been removed and the width of columns has been reduced. However, depending on the data in the cells, the width of the columns will be different from each other.
  4. To make the widths of sub-columns under ‘Marks Obtained’ equal, move the mouse pointer to the top boundary of the ‘Marks Obtained’ cell. The mouse pointer will change shape to a downward pointing vertical arrow.
  5. Click the mouse. All columns under ‘Marks Obtained’ will be selected.
  6. Click the ‘Table Tools Layout’ tab.
  7. Click the ‘Distribute Columns’ button in the ‘Cell Size’ group.Width of the four sub-columns will become equal.

Task-8: Changing Column Width
  1. Select the ‘Student’ column.
  2. Click the ‘Table Tools Layout’ tab.
  3. In the ‘Cell Size’ group, you will find the ‘Table column Width’ box. Change the value in the box to 1 inch either by deleting the value displayed, replacing it with 1” and hitting the Enter key or by changing the value using the spinner control to the right of the ‘Table Column Width’ box. MS Word will change the column width to 1 inch.

Task-9: Distributing Row Height Equally Between Columns
  1. Select the text ‘Student’ in the first column and increase its font size to 18.
  2. Select the text ‘Marks Obtained’ and increase its font size to 18. The row height of ‘Marks Obtained’ row will increase.
  3. To equalize the height of all rows, click in the margin by the side of the first row. The first row will be selected and highlighted.
  4. Keeping the mouse button pressed, move the pointer down to the side of the last row. All rows will be selected and highlighted. 
  5. Click the ‘Table Tools Layout’ tab.
  6. Click the ‘Distribute Rows’ button in the ‘Cell Size’ group. All rows will become of equal height.

Task-10: Changing Row Height
  1. Click in the left margin by the side of the first row below the ‘Student’ cell. The row will be selected.
  2. Keeping the left mouse button pressed, move the mouse pointer in the left margin down to the last row and then release the mouse. All rows below the ‘Student’ cell will be selected.
  3. Click the ‘Table Tools Layout’ tab.
  4. In the ‘Cell Size’ group, you will find the ‘Table Row Height’ box. Change the value in the box to 0.4 inch either by deleting the value displayed, replacing it with 0.4” and hitting the Enter key or by changing the value using the spinner control to the right of the ‘Table Row Height box. MS Word will change the row height of selected rows to 0.4 inch.

Recap
  • To merge cells, select the cells to be merged, then either right click the highlighted portion and select merge cells from the context menu or click the ‘Table Tools Layout’ tab and click the ‘Merge Cells’ button in the ‘Merge’ group.
  • To split a cell, launch the ‘Split Cells’ dialog box and fill appropriate values in the columns and rows boxes of the dialog box. To launch the ‘Split Cells’ dialog box either right click the cell and choose ‘Split Cells’ from the context menu or clicking the cell, then click ‘Table Tools Layout’ tab > ‘Split Cells’ button.
  • To shade the inside of a cell, select the cell, then click ‘Table Tools Design’ tab > ‘Shading’ button and choose desired colour from the drop-down colour gallery
  • To put borders around cells, select the cells, click ‘Table Tools Design’ tab> ‘Line Style’ button and select the desired style, then click ‘Borders’ button and select the desired border style.
  • To align text within cells, select the cells, then either select ‘Cell Alignment’ from the context menu or click ‘Table Tools Layout’ tab to access the nine text alignment buttons and select the desired text alignment option.
  • To change column width or row height, select the column/ row, click the ‘Table Tools Layout’ tab and fill in the desired width/ height value in ‘Table Column Width’/ ‘Table Row Height’ box.
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To view a downloadable version of this tutorial, go to the MS Word 2010 Tutorials page
and click the link [W] against this tutorial.
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