Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Creating a Table Using the Keyboard.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 25, 2016)
If you want a quick way to create a table without taking your hands off the keyboard, try this:
That's it. A single step, and you have a quick and simple table. Of course, it is only a single-row table, but it is a starting point for your table. You can also create the table by using the vertical bar instead of plus signs.
If you want the columns of your table to be wider, simply separate the plus signs or vertical bars with dashes. For instance, you could type a plus sign, ten dashes, another plus sign, and press Enter, and you would have a table with a wider column.
If this tip does not work on your system, there are two possible reasons. In some of the latest versions of Word, you need to place at least one space between each plus sign or each vertical bar. If you try this and the tip still doesn't work, you may have the feature turned off. To make sure the feature is enabled, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect dialog box.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (872) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Creating a Table Using the Keyboard.
Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!
If you have a common table layout that you want to use again and again, you'd benefit by having an easy way to save that ...Discover More
There are several ways you can create tables in a document, but one of the most unique (and perhaps most fun) is to ...Discover More
Adding a table to your document is easy. Adding one that doesn't extend from margin to margin may seem a bit harder. ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.