How to Convert Text to a Table in Word 2013

By Lois Lowe

In Word 2013, if you already have some text that’s separated into rows and columns with tabs, commas, or some other consistent character, you can convert it to a table with a few simple clicks.

For conversion to work, the existing text must be delimited with a consistent character to separate the columns. Delimited means separated via a consistent scheme.

For example, the text in this example shows the data from the first table in the preceding exercise as a delimited text file. The tab stops mark where each column should break, so that the data is organized into three columns. The hidden tab and paragraph markers are displayed to make the tab characters more obvious here.


  1. Open a Word 2013 document with text.

  2. Select all the text in the document and then choose Insert→Table→Convert Text to Table.

    The Convert Text to Table dialog box opens.


  3. Click OK.

    The text converts to a five-column table.

  4. Save the changes to the document.

If you don’t get the results you expect when converting text to a table, your rows probably contain an inconsistent number of delimiters. You may be missing a tab or have two tabs in a row, for example. Press Ctrl+Z to undo the table creation, check your column markers, and try again.

You can turn on the display of hidden characters from the Home tab’s Show/Hide button. Doing so helps you see where the tabs are.