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Populate Tables with Content in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to populate table cells with content in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. Content can be typed or pasted from the clipboard.

Once you insert a new table on your PowerPoint slide, probably the very next task you would want to do is to fill empty cells with required content. There is more than one way to populate your table with content in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. In this tutorial we'll explore these ways.

First, let us explore how you can navigate from cell to cell within a table:

  • In a table, click on a particular cell to select it.
  • You can use the Up, Down, Left, and Right arrow keys to move between table cells.
  • Pressing the Tab key will take you to the next cell in the row within a table.
  • When you have selected the last cell in a row (which is not within the last row of the table), pressing the Tab key will take you to the first cell in the next row.
  • If you press the Tab key while the active cell is the last cell at the bottom-right corner (last row, last cell) in the table, you will end up adding a new row to your table.

Next, let us explore ways to populate table cells with content:

1. Type content directly into your table cells

Position your cursor within the table cell in which you want to enter data, and then, click once. Doing so will place an insertion point inside the table cell, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1, below. Now, start typing your content.

Figure 1: Click inside the table cell to establish the insertion point

2. Copy content and paste into table cells

You can copy content from somewhere else and then paste it into the table cell at the insertion point. Often, pasting content will result in the formatting of the original content being copied as well. To avoid this problem, you can use the Paste Special option rather than using the regular Paste option. Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Copy text content from the original location, that could be an Excel sheet, a Word document, a web site, an email, or anywhere else. Make sure the content you copy is intended to be pasted in a single cell of your PowerPoint table.
  2. Place your cursor in the cell of your PowerPoint table where you want to paste the copied content. Then access the Home tab of the Ribbon and click the downward arrow below the Paste button. In the resultant drop-down gallery, choose the Paste Special option. The keyboard shortcut for Paste Special is Ctrl + Alt + V.
  3. In the resultant dialog box, choose the Unformatted Text option, and click the OK button.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

Do you want more keyboard shortcuts?

Explore our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences Ebook that is updated for all PowerPoint versions.

3. Take entire content from the table created outside PowerPoint and use as a PowerPoint table

If you have table content created outside PowerPoint, you can use it within PowerPoint as a table. To learn more, explore our Import Tables in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows tutorial.

After populating the table with the content, you can summon the Mini Toolbar and format the table content as required using the text formatting options within this Mini Toolbar, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2, below.

Figure 2: Mini Toolbar options for text within table

Make sure you save your presentation often.

See Also:

12-01-02 - Table Basics: Populate Tables with Content (Glossary Page)

Populate Tables with Content in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac