Designing Standard Tables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 7, 2014)

As you already know, when you create a table in Word, it adds a set border of one-half point around each cell in the table. If your "standard" table is different from what Word thinks it should be, however, you may be up a creek, since Word doesn't allow you to define what a standard table should look like.

If you have a "standard" table that you use over and over again in your document, there is a way around this problem. Remember, however, that a "standard" table (by this definition) will always have the same number of columns and rows and be exactly the same as every other standard table. (Of course, you can modify your standard table once it is inserted in your document.)

I've found that the easiest way to create your standard table is through the use of the AutoText feature. (I know that you can create table styles, but I find them less than easy at times.) All you need to do is follow these general steps:

  1. Create your standard table, as desired. Make sure it is formatted as desired, and that it includes any standard text.
  2. Select the entire table.
  3. Press Alt+F3. The Create AutoText dialog box appears. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Create AutoText dialog box.

  5. Provide a name for your standard table.
  6. Click on OK.

Your standard table is now created. To use the table, simply type the name you entered in step 4, and then press F3. The table appears in your document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (863) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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