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Ungroup a Table in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

Learn how to ungroup a table in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows. Ungrouping can help if you want to animate a table, or if you want to format your table content differently.

Tables can be animated within PowerPoint, but either the entire table can be animated or nothing! Yes, that's a case of extremes—either you have it all or don't have it. To get over this problem, the workaround is to ungroup the table so that your table gets converted to a collection of shapes. Then, you can animate every individual shape as you want.

Be aware that ungrouping will also get you lots of line segments that are extras. So, do some housekeeping before and after ungrouping your table.

If you are using PowerPoint 2007 for Windows or a later version, look at our Ungroup Tables in PowerPoint 2007 tutorial. If you are using PowerPoint 2003 for Windows or a previous version, follow these steps:

  1. We will work with a simple table as shown in Figure 1. It's a good idea to save the presentation to a new name and work with a copy of the presentation or slides.

  2. Figure 1: Table in PowerPoint 2003
  3. Select the entire table. This will show you the Tables and Borders toolbar that you can see in Figure 2. If you still cannot find this toolbar, choose the View | Toolbars | Tables and Borders menu option.

  4. Figure 2: Tables and Borders toolbar
  5. With the table still selected, click the small arrow next to the Borders icon to bring up the pull-down menu in the Tables and Borders toolbar, and choose the No Border option as shown in Figure 3.

  6. Figure 3: No Border

  7. Now with the table still selected, click the Fill icon on the same toolbar and choose a solid color fill as shown in Figure 4.

  8. Figure 4: Solid fill
  9. Your table will now have no borders. Plus, it will have a solid fill so that it looks like what you can see in Figure 5.

  10. Figure 5: Table with no border
  11. Now right-click the table carefully, and choose the Ungroup option in the resultant menu as shown in Figure 6.

  12. Figure 6: Ungroup
  13. PowerPoint will warn you that the table will convert to individual shapes (see Figure 7). Click the Yes button to proceed.

  14. Figure 7: Convert table to individual shapes
  15. You'll see that all your individual table cells are now shapes with text (see Figure 8). Click anywhere outside the table area to deselect these shapes.

  16. Figure 8: Cells converted to shapes
  17. Now carefully select only the shapes you want, and cut and paste them onto another slide. Go back to your older slide and press Ctrl + A, then deselect individual slide objects like the slide title. You'll find many other extra shapes and line segments as shown in Figure 9. Delete them.

  18. Figure 9: Extra shapes

At this point of time, you can format these individual shapes with fills, lines, and effects, and also animate them individually or in groups as required.

Related Link: Learn how to do more with AutoShapes in this free excerpt from my book: Cutting Edge PowerPoint For Dummies. Read a free chapter called AutoShape Magic here.

See Also:

Advanced Table Techniques: Ungroup a Table in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)

Ungroup a Table in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Ungroup a Table in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows