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Creating tables and lists with Microsoft Office programs

Updated on September 20, 2013

Which Office program for which type of table

For each type of list/table, a different programme could be used to get the most out of your input and output:

  • When creating a "to-do-list" where you need to insert a lot of content, the best Office programme to use would be Microsoft Word. Create a table within the Word document (insert-table). In the cell of the table you can type whatever you want and the cell adapts the table to the width of the text. You can also use "Enter" within a cell to better divide the text.
  • When you plan to make long, extensive lists in which you will need to find, sort and/or filter information (from), then you should use Microsoft Excel to make the table in. Within Excel you can use different filtering options to sort and select certain information. As Excel also has the abilities to make calculations, this programme is also best used when statistic information is needed.
  • The list/table function within Microsoft Powerpoint is mostly comparable with the one in Microsoft Word, but with fewer options. It is always possible to make the tables within Word or Excel and then copy it into Powerpoint. You do have to adapt the table within Powerpoint to make it viewable to an audience. Make sure to keep the tables you use for presentation purposes simple so they can be viewed in one slide.

Tips for tables in Word and Powerpoint

When you're going to create a table/list, you have to inster the number of rows and columns that you need.

  • To add another row to your table, place the cursor in the final most-right cell and press the "Tab". Another row will be added to the lower side of the table.
  • To delete a row or column you can select the row/column and press "Backspace".
  • To remove the borders of a table, click on the small arrow of the border-icon and select "no borders".
  • If you would like to change the direction in which a text is inserted for better reading (vertically or horizontally), select the text and press the right-mouse button. Choose the option "text direction".

Tips for tables/lists within Excel

  • To filter within a created table/list, select the correct cel (within a row/column) and choose "Table" and "Sort/filter". Next choose which column should be filtered and whether you would like to sort the outcome of the filtering.
  • Make sure that tables/lists do not have empty cells in them, as they might cause wrong results while filtering and / or sorting.
  • The top row of the table should contain the descriptions of the information inserted within the columns (e.g. name, date, adress, etc. ). You can add so-called filter buttons to each of these column names (shown later with a small arrow next to the column description) to make filtering quick and easy.
    Select one cell in the list, then choose "Data", then "Filter" and then "Autofilter".
    Next to the description names of the column you should now see a small arrow that, when clicking on it, gives you a filtering list. This filtering list is a summary of the content of cells within that specific column.


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