Office 2011 for Mac: Making Tables with the Dialog Box or Text

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

While there are new ways to make tables in Office 2011 for Mac, you can still use stand-by techniques. The familiar menus still work in Office 2011 for Mac, and here’s the proof. The table dialogs are all still right there:

  • In Word, choose Table→Insert→Table; alternatively, on the Ribbon’s Tables tab, in the Table Options group, click New. At the bottom of the pop-up menu, choose Insert Table.

  • In Excel and PowerPoint, choose Insert→Table.

The Insert Table dialog lets you choose how many rows and columns your table will have. In Excel, you choose how many rows and columns you want by first selecting a cell range. When using Word, you enter the number of columns and rows you want in the Number of Columns and Number of Rows fields, respectively. The Insert Table dialog in Word offers these additional options:

  • Autofit Behavior: Choose from these options:

    • Initial Column Width: Choose Auto or type in a value.

    • Autofit to Contents: Autofits table cell width to the content within the cell.

    • Autofit to Window: Autofits table to the width of the document window.

  • Set as Default for New Tables: You can make any changes you apply in this dialog the default for new tables inserted.


Not to be outdone, Word can make a table instantly from delimited text. Occasionally, you may find yourself faced with text that’s been laid out using tabs, commas, or other delimiters. Paragraph marks denote the ends of the rows. Converting this information to a table is very easy. Simply select the range of text containing the tab-separated text. Then display the Insert Table dialog by using either of these two methods:

  • (Word only) On the Ribbon, click the Tables tab. In the Table Options group, click New. Choose Convert Text to Table near the bottom of the resulting palette.

  • Choose Table→Insert→Table.