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Keyboard Ninja: Insert Tables in Word 2007

If you frequently use Microsoft Word and want to achieve Keyboard Ninja status, you need to learn how to add tables to your Word document without touching the mouse.

All you have to do is type +-+ and hit enter, and Word will automatically insert a table. The + symbol indicates a column break, and the – symbols indicate the width of the column in the table. For instance, +-+ will get you a very small single column table, but you can do more.

Let’s look at a more useful example, where we want a 3 column table with a wider middle column.

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Here’s what happens after you press the enter key. (I added data to the table for illustration)

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When adding data, you can tab from one column to the next. To add a new row, just hit tab again when you are in the last column to the right.

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You can add as many columns or rows to your table as you want using this method.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/24/07

Comments (8)

  1. OJ

    So, who owns these images? You or Lifehack?

  2. The Geek

    The images were created by Mysticgeek, one of the writers here at How-To Geek. You’ll notice that the images here are the full size versions.

  3. Marcin

    Actually, this tip also works just fine in older versions of Word. And I use it a lot :-)

  4. alan

    This tip works in OpenOffice.org as well.

  5. Norton

    I don’t know weather to laugh or cry…I’ve produced hundreds of word documents (MS word, XP, 2007 and OpenOffice) when I come across a simple and quick command that has always been there… I wanna laugh because it’ll make my life easier and I wanna cry because I should have known about this. Thank you howtogeek keep the tips rolling.

  6. Johnny

    I find it just for fun and fast anyway, by typing +-+-+-+-+-+ inorder to get more collumn.

    thank, bring more for us

  7. Jan

    Boy, I love it!
    By the way, you don’t even need any “-”s. Simply use tab stops to separate your “+”s. This allows for a neat aligning of your future colums.

  8. nakul

    does these shortcuts work in office 2010 natively? i am currently using it but not able to use them. maybe they are just disabled in the technical preview version hopefully.

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