We all use tables in our slides all the time to present numeric data in an organized way so that the audience can easily comprehend or compare values and understand trends. 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 in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac:
- 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 no Content placeholder, 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. We explain these methods in more detail below:
Insert Table Using the Insert Menu
Follow these steps to insert a table using the Insert menu in PowerPoint:
- Select the Insert menu and choose the Table option, as shown in Figure 1, below.
Figure 1: Insert | Table menu option
- Doing so brings up the Insert Table dialog box, as shown in Figure 2, below. 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 Table Using the Tables tab of the Ribbon
Follow these steps to insert a table from the PowerPoint Ribbon:
- Access the Tables tab of the Ribbon, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3, below. Within this tab, click on the New button, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 3, to bring up a set of cells arranged in rows and columns, as shown highlighted in green within Figure 3.
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. We selected 5 columns and 3 rows, as can be seen highlighted in Figure 4, below. This means our new table will have 5 columns and 3 rows.
Figure 4: Highlighted cells indicate the number of columns and rows being added
- Once the required number of rows and columns are selected, click your mouse to place a table on the active slide.
Insert Table in a Content placeholder
Follow these steps to insert a table using a Content placeholder:
- A Content placeholder is a palette of six icons, as shown in Figure 5, below. If your slide has a Content placeholder, click the Insert Table icon, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 5.
Figure 5: Insert Table icon within the content placeholder
- Doing so brings up the same Insert Table dialog box, as shown in Figure 2, previously on this page. In this dialog box, enter the required number of columns and rows for your table and click the OK button.
The result of following any of the three methods explained above is a table inserted on your active slide, as shown in Figure 6, below. 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 (Glossary Page)