Many people assume that "tabular form" refers to a pre-designed Word template or a specific feature, but it actually means presenting information in rows and columns, rather than paragraphs, to break down specific data into a quickly scannable layout. Unless a Word document is locked, anyone who accesses it can update or edit information in tabular form without difficulty. Information presented in tabular form includes surveys with questions in one column and possible answers or blank spaces in another column; statistical data; schedules; technical specifications; and study or experiment results.
Word offers two basic options for inserting tables: Grid and Table Insert. To create a table from scratch using the grid, you must position your cursor on the document where you want to insert the table before clicking on "Insert," followed by "Table," to open a drop-down menu. Moving your cursor horizontally and vertically across the grid boxes allows you to add up to 10 columns and 8 rows to your document. To create a larger table, after you position your cursor and click "Insert," you need to select "Insert Table ... ," set the table size by number of columns and rows, and then click "OK."
Word also offers an option for creating different sizes of columns and rows in a table with drawing tools. To use these tools within the document, you can click "Insert" and "Table" before selecting "Draw Table" to change your cursor into a pencil tool. Clicking and dragging the pencil right and down on the document creates the border of a table; afterward, drawing horizontal lines will make rows and vertical lines will create columns. When you're finished, clicking "Design" and "Draw Table" changes the pencil into a cursor.
Convert Text to Table
The Convert Text to Table option allows you to take text already in your document and convert it to tabular form. To use this option, you must insert tabs or a mark such as a comma at the points on each line of your text where you want Word to automatically divide it into columns. For example, for census survey data you might divide it as follows: Name, Address, Occupation and Age to create four columns, with each word as the header for a column. When you're finished, you need to highlight the text before clicking "Insert," "Table" and then "Convert Text To Table." After selecting a table size, autofit behavior and the method you used to separate the text, clicking "OK" will convert the text into table format.