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Insert Tables in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to insert a table in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. There's more than one way to insert a table.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






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. Sometimes tables may even work as containers for quotations or even messages. It's quite easy to insert a new table, yet there's more than one way to do this simple task. Which option you choose to insert a table in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows depends upon whether your slide contains a Content placeholder or not.

Tip: A Content placeholder (see Figure 7, later on this page) is a boxed area that lets you add either bulleted text or six other content types in your slide—most Slide Layouts contain Content placeholders.

Choose a section below that applies to how you want to create a new table:

Insert Table on a Slide With the Blank Layout

Navigate to the slide with the Blank Layout in your presentation. Then select the Insert tab (highlighted in red within Figure 1) of the Ribbon. Within this tab, click the Table button (highlighted in blue within Figure 1) to bring up the Table drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 1.

Table drop-down gallery
Figure 1: Table drop-down gallery

Let's explore all options within the Table drop-down gallery, as marked within Figure 1, above:

  1. Topmost section within the Table drop-down gallery is a set of cells arranged in rows and columns, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2. 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 2 shows cells in 3 columns and 4 rows highlighted. When you hover your cursor over these cells, you can also see a Live Preview of the table being inserted on the active slide as shown in Figure 2.
  2. Cells highlighted to indicate the number of columns and rows in the table to be added
    Figure 2: Cells highlighted to indicate the number of columns and rows in the table to be added
  3. Once the required number of rows and columns are highlighted, just click to place an empty table containing the specified number of rows and columns on the active slide as shown in Figure 3.
  4. Table inserted on the blank slide
    Figure 3: Table inserted on the blank slide
  5. Insert Table: Selecting this option brings up the Insert Table dialog box as shown in Figure 4. In this dialog box, enter the required number of columns and rows within the boxes provided and click the OK button.
  6. Insert Table dialog box
    Figure 4: Insert Table dialog box
  7. This will place an empty table containing the specified number of rows and columns on the active slide as shown in Figure 3, earlier on this page.
  8. Draw Table: When you select this option, the cursor changes to a pencil icon as shown highlighted in red within Figure 5. Place your cursor on the Slide Area where you want to draw the table. Then, click and drag to draw the table's outer borders in the same way as you drag and draw to insert a shape. While drawing, you will see dashed lines to indicate the extent of the table's area.
  9. Table being drawn on the slide
    Figure 5: Table being drawn on the slide
  10. Once the outer borders of your table are drawn, you can continue with drawing table cells as explained in our Draw Tables in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows tutorial.
  11. Excel Spreadsheet: This option inserts a typical Excel sheet with two rows and two columns on your PowerPoint slide as shown in Figure 6. You can use the selection handles on the border of this sheet (highlighted in red within Figure 6) to increase the number of rows and columns, as required.
  12. Excel Spreadsheet on the slide
    Figure 6: Excel Spreadsheet on the slide
  13. Once the required number of rows and columns are in place, just click your mouse away from this Excel sheet to place a table on the active slide. However, PowerPoint doesn't consider this as a native table. Rather this is essentially an Excel object.Learn more in our Insert Excel Objects in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.

Select any of the above options as required to insert a table on the slide.

Insert a Table Within a Content placeholder

  1. In a slide with a Content placeholder (the palette of six icons that you see in Figure 7), click the Insert Table icon, shown highlighted in red within Figure 7.
  2. Insert Table icon within the content placeholder
    Figure 7: Insert Table icon within the content placeholder
  3. This brings up the same Insert Table dialog box that you saw in Figure 4, earlier on this page. In this dialog box, enter the required number of columns and rows for your table and click the OK button.
  4. This will insert a table within the Content placeholder on your active slide, as shown in Figure 8. The number of rows and columns may be different depending upon the choices you made.
  5. Table inserted within the Content placeholder
    Figure 8: Table inserted within the Content placeholder

Once you add a table, you can:

Make sure to save your presentation often.


See Also:

Table Basics: Insert Tables in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)

Insert Tables in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

You May Also Like: Animate Ungrouped Tables in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows | Presentation Management: Better Storytelling


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