Tables—we all use them in our slides all the time because they present numeric data in an organized way so that the audience can easily comprehend or compare values, trends, or even messages. And it's quite easy to insert a new table, yet there's more than one way to do this simple task. In fact, there are three distinct ways to insert a table on your slide.
- Select the Insert | Table menu option
- Use the New option within the Tables tab of the Ribbon
- In a Content placeholder, click the Insert Table icon
The first two ways are helpful when you want to add a table on a slide that has Blank Layout, while the third option works best when you want to add a table within an existing slide that includes a Content placeholder (we explain more later in this tutorial). Based on your requirement, select any of the three methods explained below:
Insert a Table Using the Insert menu
- Select the Insert menu and choose the Table menu option, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Insert | Table menu option
- This brings up the Insert Table dialog box as shown in Figure 2. In this dialog box, enter the required number of columns and rows for your table and click the OK button.
Figure 2: Insert Table dialog box
Insert a Table Using the Tables tab of the Ribbon
- Access the Tables tab of the Ribbon (highlighted in red within Figure 3). Within this tab, click on the New button (highlighted in blue within Figure 3) to bring up a set of cells arranged in rows and columns as shown in Figure 3 (highlighted in green).
Figure 3: New button within the Tables tab
- Hover your cursor over the set of cells starting from the top-left corner to choose how many rows and columns you need for your table. Figure 4 shows cells in 5 columns and 3 rows highlighted, which means our new table will have 5 columns and 3 rows.
Figure 4: Cells highlighted to indicate the number of columns and rows in the table to be added
- Once the required number of rows and columns are highlighted, just left-click your mouse to place a table on the active slide.
Insert a Table in a Content placeholder
- In a slide with a Content placeholder (the palette of six icons that you see in Figure 5), click the Insert Table icon shown highlighted in red within Figure 5.
Figure 5: Insert Table icon within the content placeholder
- This brings up the same Insert Table dialog box that you saw in Figure 2, earlier on this page. In this dialog box, enter the required number of columns and rows for your table and click the OK button.
The end result of following any of the 3 methods explained above is a table inserted on your active slide, as shown in Figure 6. The number of rows and columns may be different depending upon the choices you made.
Figure 6: Table inserted on the slide
Once you add a table, you can:
- Populate the table cells with content you type (or paste from the clipboard)
- Bring in content from Excel
- Add or remove columns or rows
- Merge and split cells
- Format tables with the Table Styles feature
Make sure to save your presentation often.
Table Basics: Insert Tables in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)