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: Putting Something in Every Cell of a Table.

Putting Something in Every Cell of a Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 26, 2015)

In my line of work, I need to create documents that contain many tables. These tables must follow a rigid structure, including the requirement that no cell can be empty. (If a cell would otherwise be empty, it must contain the characters "N/A".)

To aid in working with this requirement for tables, I created a macro that examines the table for me and adds the N/A characters, where appropriate. All I need to do is place the insertion point within the target table, and then run this macro:

Sub AddTableNA()
    Dim NumRows As Integer
    Dim NumCols As Integer
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim K As Integer
    Dim ChkTxt As String

    If Not Selection.Information(wdWithInTable) Then
        Exit Sub
    End If

    NumRows = Selection.Tables(1).Rows.Count
    NumCols = Selection.Tables(1).Columns.Count

    'Loop to select each row in the current table
    For J = 1 To NumRows
        'Loop to select each cell in the current row
        For K = 1 To NumCols
            'Select the cell to check
            Selection.Tables(1).Rows(J).Cells(K).Select
            'Copy any text in the cell
            ChkTxt = Selection.Text
            'Strip off the last 2 characters (removes end of cell marker)
            ChkTxt = Left(ChkTxt, Len(ChkTxt) - 2)
            'If empty, add "n/a" text
            If (ChkTxt = "") Then Selection.TypeText ("N/A")
        Next K
    Next J
End Sub

The macro first checks to see if the insertion point is within a table. If not, then the macro is exited early. If so, then the NumRows and NumCols variables are set to the number of rows and columns in the table, respectively.

The macro then steps through each cell of each row, determining if the cell contains anything. Because of the way that Word constructs tables, a cell will always contain something—the end-of-cell marker—even if nothing else is in it. The solution was to subtract two characters from the end of the text in the cell, and then see if anything was left. If not, then the characters "N/A" are typed into the cell.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3875) 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: Putting Something in Every Cell of a Table.

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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