VIDEO: How to Hand-Draw a Table in Word (It's Pretty Cool)

July 18, 2017

One of the fastest and most common ways to add a table to a Microsoft Word document is to click the Table menu in the Insert ribbon, and then drag out a grid with the row and column dimensions you need.

But, when you create a table this way, or even by using the Insert Table command, the table always expands to fill the width of the entire page or column in which you’re placing it. In cases where this isn’t the behavior you want, you then have to spend the time to resize the table, the rows, the columns or even individual cells.

A quicker way to immediately get more control over your table’s proportions is to draw it by hand. From the table menu, select Draw Table. This turns your mouse cursor into a pencil icon. First, draw the outer border of your table by dragging out a rectangle to the dimensions you want for it.

Then you can draw the lines for the individual rows and columns. The advantage here is that you can manually create the size of your rows and columns instead of having to change them in the ribbon later.

The table you draw behaves just like any other table you might have added with the grid or through the Insert Table command. For example, you can adjust its properties under the Layout tab to change its height, or you can choose a color style for it under the Design tab.

You can also select the Draw Table button again at any time to add more cells onto your table. You can even split individual cells with straight or diagonal lines.

The ability to manually draw tables can be a big time saver, especially when you need to create custom table sizes or irregular rows and columns in your tables.

For more Microsoft Word hacks that'll make you more productive, check out Word Quick Tips on LinkedIn Learning.