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: Clearing the Contents of a Table.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 6, 2017)
Word includes a powerful table editor that you can use to create very complex tables. If you spend a lot of time working on a table and getting it just right, you may want to copy the table to a new location so you can use the same layout elsewhere. After copying, you will no doubt want to erase the contents of the table so that you can start to fill it out again. An easy way to clear out the table is to select the entire table and then press the Delete key. The information in the table is cleared, but the table structure remains.
It is interesting to note that you must press the Delete key. If, instead, you press Backspace, only the contents of the first cell in the table are cleared. (Don't ask me why; it just works that way.)
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1446) 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: Clearing the Contents of a Table.
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!
One of the most common ways to format information in a table is to apply some sort of alignment to the contents of table ...Discover More
When pasting text from another document or from the Web you can have unexpected characters sometimes show up. Many of ...Discover More
If you import information into a document from another program, the values you import may not be exactly to your liking. ...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.