Create Lists and Tables

Lists created with bullets and numbers are so useful in pointing out specific types of items in your document. This module will cover a number of tasks related to using bullets and automatically numbered lists. 

We’ll also look at how to create and modify tables to give your documents that professional polish. 

Using Bulleted Lists 

Topics in this Lesson Create a simple bulleted list Define a custom bullet character 

Create a Bulleted List 

Bullets create visual interest in your document and break up text to make it easier to read or scan. 

Here’s how to create a simple bulleted list. 

  1. Select the paragraphs you want to turn into a bulleted list. 
  1. Select the Bullets tool from the Home tab of the Ribbon. 

Here’s how to use a different bullet in the bullet library. 

  1. Select the paragraphs you want to turn into a bulleted list (or change the style of bullets). 
  1. Select the small arrow next to the Bullets tool from the Home tab of the Ribbon. 
  1. Select the bullet style you want to use. 

Define a Custom Bullet Character 

Creating your own bullet style is great for branding your documents.  

Here’s how to define a custom bullet character from a symbol. 

  1. Place your cursor on the paragraph (or select the text) that will use the new bullet character. 
  1. Select the arrow next to the Bullet tool from the Home tab on the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Define New Bullet from the drop down list. 
  1. Select Symbol to select a symbol character. 
  1. Select Font to adjust the font formatting for the character.  
  1. Select OK in the Font dialog box. 
  1. Select OK in the Define New Bullet dialog box. 

Here’s how to define a custom bullet character from a picture. 

  1. Place your cursor on the paragraph (or select the text) that will use the new bullet character. 
  1. Select the arrow next to the Bullet tool from the Home tab on the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Define New Bullet from the drop down list. 
  1. Select Picture to select an image file. 
  1. Select Browse to open the file you want to use. 
  1. Navigate to the image file, select it, and select Open
  1. Select OK in the Define New Bullet dialog box. 

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Using Numbered Lists 

Topics in this Lesson Create a numbered list Control list numbering Change list levels Define a custom number format 

Create a Numbered List 

Numbered lists give order to your document. 

Here’s how to create a simple numbered list. 

  1. Select the paragraphs you want to turn into a numbered list. 
  1. Select the Numbering tool from the Home tab of the Ribbon. 

Here’s how to use a different numbering style in the Numbering Library. 

  1. Select the paragraphs you want to turn into a numbered list (or change the style of numbering). 
  1. Select the small arrow next to the Numbering tool from the Home tab of the Ribbon. 
  1. Select the numbering style you want to use. 

Control List Numbering 

If you have many lists in your document, or lists that start and and stop again, you may need to control how the lists are numbered. 

Here’s how to restart list numbering. 

  1. Place your cursor in the list paragraph that should be restarted. 
  1. Right click the mouse. 
  1. In the context menu, select Restart at 1.  

Here’s how to continue list numbering. 

  1. Place your cursor in the list paragraph that should be continued from a previous list. 
  1. Right click the mouse. 
  1. In the context menu, select Continue Numbering.  

Here’s how to set the starting number value. 

  1. Place your cursor in the list paragraph that you want to set the list starting number value. 
  1. Select the small arrow next to the Numbering tool. 
  1. Select Set Numbering Value
  1. Enter the new number in the Set value to field. 
  1. Select OK

Change List Levels 

You can create multi-level lists on the fly by selecting text and increasing or decreasing the list level.  

Here’s how to increase or decrease list levels. 

  1. Place your cursor anywhere in a list paragraph that you want to increase or decrease. 
  1. Select the arrow next to the Bullet or Numbering tool, depending on the type of list. 
  1. Select Change List Level
  1. Select the Level from the options. 

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Define a Custom Number Format 

Word provides a lot of flexibility in defining a numbering format. You can change the style, font, and even add additional text to show with each item using the automatic numbering. 

Here’s how to define a custom number format. 

  1. Place your cursor on the paragraph that will use the new numbering format. 
  1. Select the arrow next to the Numbering tool from the Home tab on the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Define New Number Format from the drop down list. 
  1. Select the Number style from the drop down list. 
  1. Select Font to adjust the font formatting for the numbering.  
  1. Enter any additional characters or spaces in the Number format field. Note that if you remove the existing number or letter, the items with this style will no longer be automatically numbered. But you can add extra characters before or after the automatic numbering. 
  1. Select the Alignment for the number format. 
  1. Select OK

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Creating a Table 

Topics in this Lesson Insert a table Convert text to table Convert tables to text Apply table styles 

Insert a Table 

While using spaces, tables or even columns can create the look you want for your document, sometimes information is best formatted as a table. 

Show participants how to insert a table. 

  1. Select the Insert tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Table
  1. Highlight the number of rows and columns that you want to insert. 

Word inserts the table in the document at the current cursor position.  

Convert Text to Table 

Documents that use tabs, paragraphs or a consistent symbol to separate information can easily be converted to a table. 

Here’s how to convert text to table. 

  1. Make sure that the text you want to convert has consistent breaks where you want the table cell or row breaks to occur. This example uses tabs. 
  1. Select all of the text that should be converted to a table. 
  1. Select the Insert tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Table
  1. Select Convert Text to Table

Word estimates the number of columns based on how it will separate the text.  

  1. Select OK to create the table. 

Convert Tables to Text 

Sometimes you need to convert text in the other direction – you may receive a document formatted as tables that you need to reformat or just use the text for another purpose. 

Here’s how to convert tables to text. 

  1. Select the table that you want to convert (or place your cursor anywhere in the table). 
  1. Select the Table Tools Layout tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Convert to Text
  1. Word estimates how the content in cells should be separated once removed from the table. You can indicate whether to separate the text with paragraph breaks, tabs, commas or a character of your choosing.  
  1. Select OK

Apply Table Styles 

Word includes a number of pre-built styles to help you easily apply a different look to your tables. 

Here’s how to apply table styles.  

  1. Select the table you want to format. 
  1. Select the Table Tools Design tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select a Table style to create a new look for the table. You can see a preview by hovering the mouse over the option before selecting it. 
  1. Use the Table Style options to add special formatting to the Header Row, Total Row (last row), First Column, or Last Column. The Banded Rows and Banded Columns alternates the shading.  

Modifying a Table 

Topics in this Lesson Resize a table Resize a table’s rows or columns Configure a repeating row header Sort table data Merge cells Split cells Split a table Configure cell margins and spacing 

Resize a Table 

The default setting when inserting a table is for it to automatically be as wide as your document and margins allow. You can change the overall size of your table. 

Here’s how to resize a table. 

  1. Place your cursor anywhere in the table you want to resize. 
  1. Select the small square at the bottom right of the table. 
  1. Drag the corner of the table to make it wider or narrower, or taller or shorter. 

Resize a Table’s Rows or Columns 

If your columns or rows are too wide or narrow, or too short or tall, you can resize them. 

Here’s how to resize columns in a table. 

  1. Hover your mouse over a column divider. The mouse changes to a divider with arrows pointing to the left and to the right. 
  1. Drag the column to the new size. 

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Here’s how to resize rows in a table. 

  1. Hover your mouse over a row divider. The mouse changes to a divider with arrows pointing to the left and to the right. 
  1. Drag the column to the new size. 

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Repeat Row Headers 

When a table lasts more than one page, repeating the row headers allows you to have that header information appear at the top of every page. 

Here’s how to configure a repeating row header. 

  1. Place your cursor in the row you want to have repeated if the table lasts more than one page. 
  1. Select the Table Tools Layout tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Repeat Header Rows

Sort Table Data 

Tables provide an easy way to sort information. 

Here’s how to sort table data. 

  1. Place your cursor anywhere in the table you want to sort. 
  1. Select the Table Tools Layout tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Sort
  1. In the Sort dialog box, indicate which column to use for the sort. 
  1. Indicate additional information by selecting an option from the Type and Using drop down lists.  
  1. Choose Ascending or Descending to indicate the order of the sort. 
  1. Add further sort options by selecting a new column and options. 
  1. Select whether your table has a Header Row or not. 
  1. Select OK

Merge Cells 

You can combine cells that are side by side or above or below each other. This can help you further customize your tables. 

Here’s how to merge cells. 

  1. Select the cells you want to merge. 
  1. Select the Table Tools Layout tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Merge Cells

Split Cells 

Splitting cells is the opposite of merging cells. You might want to use split cells if you find there is too much information in a cell. 

Here’s how to split cells. 

  1. Select the cell you want to split. 
  1. Select the Table Tools Layout tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Split Cells

The Split Cells dialog box opens. Word estimates where you want to split the cells based on the contents of the cell you selected. 

  1. Adjust the Number of columns to create, if needed. 
  1. Enter the Number of rows to create, if needed. 
  1. Select OK

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Split a Table 

You can create a split to break up a long table or if non-table text is needed in between rows. 

Here’s how to split a table. 

  1. Place your cursor in the row below where you want the table to be split. 
  1. Select the Table Tools Layout tab on the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Split Table

A blank paragraph is added before the selected row of the table. 

Set Cell Margins and Spacing 

Cell margins control the amount of space at the top, bottom, left and right of a cell between the borders and the cell content. Cell spacing adds space between cells. 

Here’s how to configure cell margins and spacing. 

  1. Place your cursor in the table you want to adjust. 
  1. Select the Table Tools Layout tab from the Ribbon. 
  1. Select Cell Margins
  1. Indicate the measurements for the space between the text and the cell borders for the Top, Bottom, Left and Right margins. 
  1. Check the Allow spacing between cells to add cell spacing. 
  1. Check or clear the Automatically resize to fit contents box, depending on if you want Word to adjust the size of the columns. 
  1. Select OK