Table in Google Docs

If you want to display data, images, or objects in your document, you can use a table. We’ll show you just how easy it is to insert a table in Google Docs and edit it to your liking.

The great thing about using a table in Google Docs is that it gives you a structured way to display items. You may have data that would fit best in a table or a variety of images that you want to display neatly.

Whatever your reason, using a table in Google Docs is so simple that it not only provides an effective way to show what you need, but can also improve the overall appearance of your document.

RELATED: The Beginner's Guide to Google Docs

Insert a Table in Google Docs

Head to Google Docs, sign in, and open your document or create a new one.

Place your cursor in the document where you want to add the table. Click Insert > Table from the menu. In the pop-out box, move your cursor over the grid to the number of columns and rows you want and click.

The table will pop onto your document in the desired spot. If you start adding data immediately, take a look at these Google Docs keyboard shortcuts for moving around your table.

Edit a Table in the Document

Inserting a table in Google Docs takes no more than a few clicks. Once there, you can change the number of columns or rows, resize them, or add a cell border.

Add or Remove Columns and Rows

You may decide that the table is too large or too small for its purpose. Adding and removing columns and rows is easy.

Go to a cell in the table where you want to either add or remove a column or row. Right-click and you’ll see the Insert and Delete options for both columns and rows in the menu.

You’ll also notice an option here for “Delete Table,” which is good to keep in mind should you decide to remove the table later.

Resize Columns and Rows

Depending on the sizes of the items within your table, you may need to adjust the size of a column or row.

Place your cursor on the border of a cell in the column or row that you want to adjust. Click when you see the double-sided arrow display. You’ll see the border for that column or row highlighted in blue. Drag that line to adjust the size and release.

Add a Cell Border

In addition to changing the table border (which we’ll show you next), you can add borders to particular cells. This lets you highlight specific cells if needed.

Select the cell and click the small arrow that appears within it.

When the small pop-up window appears, choose the placement for the cell border.

Choose the border placement

At the same time, the toolbar will convert to let you customize the border. Select a color, width, or dash line for the border.

Customize the cell border with the toolbar

If you want to change the borders for several cells at once, simply select the cells and follow these same steps.

Edit a Table in the Properties

The remaining editing options for a table in Google Docs reside in the Table Properties setting. So, right-click inside the table and choose “Table Properties.”

Change the Table Border

On the top left of the Table Properties window are your Table Border settings. Use the two drop-down lists to select the color and width of the border.

Change the color and width of the table border

Select the Cell Color and Alignment

Below Table Border, you can add a Cell Background Color using that drop-down box. For the Cell Vertical Alignment, you can pick from Top, Middle, or Bottom.

Change the cell background color and alignment

If you want the cell color and alignment to apply to the entire table, you must select it first. Otherwise, your change will only apply to the column or row you have selected.

To select the entire table, drag your cursor through it until the whole table is highlighted (blue).

Select the entire table

Then head back to the Table Properties to adjust these cell settings.

Adjust the Dimensions and Cell Padding

If you would like to use exact inches for the sizes of your columns and rows, you can set these under Dimensions. Before you make this change, you must select the entire table first (as described above).

Then check the box for “Column Width” and/or “Minimum Row Height” and add the decimal values in inches to the right.

Change the table dimensions and cell padding

Cell padding works the same way with its values. Enter the number of inches you want to use for the padding. Remember, cell padding is the space between the cell data and the cell border.

RELATED: How to Add Space Between Text and Cell Borders in Excel

Move the Table Alignment

One final setting you may want to adjust is the table alignment. Use the drop-down box in this section of the Table Properties to choose from Left, Center, or Right. If you use a left-aligned table, you can optionally enter a left indent value in inches.

Change the table alignment

When you want to insert and edit a table in Google Docs, it’ll be simple to do, and you’ll have a good amount of flexibility. For more information, take a look at how to create a table of contents in Google Docs.

RELATED: How to Create a Table of Contents in Google Docs

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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