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5 Simple Steps To Create Data Table In Ms Excel

By Expert Author: Brooke Perry

Are you investing much of your valuable working time in managing crucial data? Do you think that creating a database in tabulated form in MS Excel is a difficult task? If yes, then forget about all your concerns related to managing data in MS Excel. Keeping your data in tabulated form does not only seem to be an incredibly powerful feature of MS Office suite but it also helps in summarizing all your data in your spreadsheets, especially when the data changes a lot. The formulas incorporated in the Excel spreadsheets will save a lot of time and effort, hence, provides you extra time to complete your work on deadlines.

What are data tables?

Data tables, also known as what-if analysis tool, are part of a suite of commands that performs what-if analysis. The table helps in changing the values that are already entered into the cells and are used for displaying the results that came into the worksheet after the changes are made.

A major limitation with data tables is the number of variables that a table can accommodate. A generic data table cannot accommodate more than two variables however you can use scenarios, if you want to analyze more than two variables. As discussed, the data tables are restricted to only one or two variables but you can accommodate different variable values in that particular table.

On successful implementation of formulas, data tables can present all the outcomes on a single worksheet. You can use data tables to easily examine a range of possibilities as well as the results that are easy to read and share in tabular form. The basic components of data tables are the row input cell and the column input cell.

In this article, you will read about the 5 simple steps that can help you in creating data table in MS Excel with ease.

Step1. Collect data and type it in spreadsheet

In order to create a data table, the first and the foremost thing to collect is all the necessary data that should be incorporated in the table. Always do a detailed research on the data that has been collected by researchers, refine it and make it ready to be entered into the Excel sheets. Once the data is refined and arranged, carefully type it into the Excel sheets and make it ready to be converted into a table.

Step2. Select and go to ‘Home’ tab

After entering all the relevant data into their respective fields, select the cells that are desired to be converted into a table. Select a cell and drag the cursor to the entire rows and columns that are to be transformed into the table. Now, hold the selected area and click on the ‘Home’ tab.

Step3. Choose ‘Format as Table’ and select the design you want

Look for the ‘Format as Table’ option under the ‘Styles’ menu located on the ribbon of the ‘Home’ tab. Once you have clicked the ‘Format as Table’ option, the application will open in the drop down menu, with few pre-installed designs of tables. These designs will not only offer an eye-pleasing look to your tables but also help in segregating data from one row/column to another. The designs are offered in multiple color schemes and generally follow the zebra design to make it look more appealing and eye-catchy.

Step4. Observe the marching ants and accept the ‘Format as Table’ dialog box

On choosing a respective design for your table, you will see a temporary border of marching ants around the selected area. When Excel is ready to apply that particular design on your worksheet, a ‘Format as Table’ dialog box will open and ask for table related details. The dialog box will first confirm the desired location of table by asking ‘where is the data of your table’ and you can also mark tick on ‘My table has headers,’ if you want your data to be arranged by using specific headers.

Step5. Click ‘OK’ and you’re done

Once you have mentioned all the desired details in the ‘Format as Table’ dialog box, click ‘OK’ button to finish. By clicking on the ‘OK’ button, the program will apply the desired changes and the chosen design will now surround your table. While performing these steps you need be very careful, as the newly formed table should have the drop down arrows located beside each field name. You can easily view the colorful zebra in alternating color schemes once all the table rows are formatted.

Creating a table in MS Excel does not always mean to get it done through the ‘Insert’ tab,’ it can also be easily obtained by using the ‘Home’ tab. Once the table has all the desired changes applied on it, you can also rearrange, filter and shortlist the data by using the headers. Using headers will not only make your work easier but will also save a lot of time and effort. Color schemes help the table to look more attractive and elegant while headers help in segmenting and filtering the data with ease. You can also modify the headers and color schemes according to your wish and preferences. So, experiment with colors and make your table look more appealing.


Brooke M. Perry is an ardent technician associated with Qresolve computer security, with wide experience of fixing issues with PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. With a strong track record of devising effective ways of online pc support and system security, she has so far helped thousands of users across the globe. Her writings on tech issues are the reflection of her in-depth interest and command she carries as a online tech support technician. Her blogs and articles have been rated high for their lucid style and easy to understand language.

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