How to Work with Tables in iPad Numbers App

Numbers is a very practical addition to the other iWork apps on iPad. Tables and charts are built into Keynote and Pages, but Numbers is the main number-crunching tool on iPad. Tables are at the heart of Numbers — they’re where you enter your data.

Select a table in iPad Numbers

To be able to work on a table, you need to select it. If the table isn’t visible in the current tab, just tap the tab it’s in first. To select a table in Numbers, tap it.

If you need to find an entry within a table, it’s easy to do. Tap the wrench in the top-right corner to open the Tools popover. Tap Find and enter a word or phrase, then tap Search on the keyboard to search the entire Numbers document for a match in that table.

When a table is selected, its appearance changes. (See the figure.) A selected table is framed with gray bars above (the column frame) and to its left (the row frame). To the left of the column frame, a button with concentric circles lets you move the table.

To the right of the column frame as well as beneath the row frame are buttons, each with four small squares (looking a bit like table cells). These Cells buttons let you add rows, columns, or cells and manipulate the cells in the table.


Select a table by tapping it once; the location of your tap is important:

  • If you tap in a cell, the table and that cell are selected.

  • If you tap inside the table bounds but outside the cells, the table itself is selected. For example, if you tap the table’s title or the blank space to the left or right of the title, the table itself is selected. (Refer to the figure.)

Move a table in iPad Numbers

You can move a table around on its sheet. Select the table and tap the round button to the left of the column frame. Then drag the table where you want it (see the figure). Numbers shows you the absolute coordinates of the location you’re dragging to. Light-colored lines called guides help you align the table to other objects on the sheet.

These lines appear and disappear as the table is aligned with the edges or centers of other objects.


You can select several objects at the same time. Tap the first object to select it, and then, while still holding your finger down, tap with another finger the other objects you want to add to the selection. After that, they move or resize together. (You may need two hands for this task.)

Cut and paste a table in iPad Numbers

You can select a table and then drag it around on a sheet by using the round button at the top-left of the column frame; you can resize the table. But what if you want to place the table on a different sheet? To copy (or cut) and paste a table onto a different sheet, follow these steps:

  1. Select the table by tapping the round button at the top left.

    You see the Cut, Copy, and Delete buttons, as shown in the figure.


  2. Tap Cut from the selection buttons that appear above the table.

  3. Tap the tab of the sheet you want to add the table to.

  4. Tap in the sheet (but not in an existing table).

    This step brings up new selection buttons.

  5. Tap Paste.

  6. Move and resize the table as you want.