Convert plain text to a table faster using Convert Text to Table feature

Microsoft Word 2013 is a word-processing program which is very user friendly and provides a number of features to improve the productivity of your document.

Microsoft Word offers an exciting feature known as Tables. A table is a grid of cells arranged in rows and columns. With the help of Microsoft Word you can create a blank table, convert text to a table and also apply a variety of styles and formats to existing tables.

Let us understand how to convert text to a table within Microsoft Word 2013.

Step 1:

Click the Show/Hide paragraph mark on the Home tab so you can see how text is separated in your document.

When Show/ Hide paragraph mark is clicked, the text separated is shown as below.

Step 2:

Insert separator characters—such as commas or tabs—to indicate where to divide the text into table columns.

NOTE:  If you have commas in your text, use tabs for your separator characters.

Step 3:

Use paragraph marks to indicate where you want to begin a new table row.

In this particular example, commas will produce a table with 3 columns and 2 rows:

Step 4:

Select the text that you want to convert, and then click Insert > Table > Convert Text to Table.

Step 5:

In the Convert Text to Table box, choose the options you want.

Under Table size, ensure that the numbers match the number of columns and rows you want. Under AutoFit behavior, choose how you want your table to look. Word automatically chooses a width for the table columns.


The AutoFit Behavior provides you with 3 options.

  • Fixed Column Width – Specifies a width for all columns
  • AutoFit to Contents – Resize the columns to fit the width of the text in each column
  • AutoFit to window– Resize the table automatically in case the width of the available space changes

Under Separate text at, choose the separator character you used in the text. In this particular example the separator character is Comma so use Commas as Separator.

Click OK and your text will be converted to a table.

About the author

FAME is a leading Accountancy training provider. FAME brings together under one roof a wide range of accounting courses blended with real world experience and practical application. FAME aims to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical challenges that accountants face in their day to day working. We provide practical workplace skills for finance staff meeting the needs of employers, bankers, government and learners, both now and in the future. Our students are integral to the success of an organisation and at the heart of ensuring the smooth running of an accounting department.