The Quickest and Easiest Way to Make a Table in Word

Ben Stegner 11-12-2015

It seems that the useful features in Microsoft Word 10 Hidden Features of Microsoft Word That'll Make Your Life Easier Microsoft Word wouldn't be the tool it is without its productive features. Here are several features that can help you every day. Read More never end. From hidden features for power users to important keyboard shortcuts anyone can use 60 Essential Microsoft Office Keyboard Shortcuts for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Hundreds of keyboard shortcuts are available in Office, but these are the most important ones you should know because they will save you a lot of time. Read More to their advantage, Word is a treasure trove of productivity.


For example, the next time you need a table, instead of going to the Insert tab on the Ribbon, place your cursor on a new line and type four plus signs with a space between each one. You can also use the vertical line (|) if you like. After this, just press Enter to make the table.

+ + + + 

This makes a table with one row and three columns, corresponding to the four plus signs you typed (one for each line on the table, and a space for each cell). If you need more columns, add more plus signs before pressing Enter.

To make the columns wider, add dashes between the plus signs:


Don’t forget you can also use Word’s format tools to get it right after you create the table.

If this doesn’t work for you, enable the setting by going to File > Options. Click the Proofing tab on the left, then click the AutoCorrect Options… button at the top. At the top, change the tab to AutoFormat as You Type. Under the Apply as You Type header, make sure Tables is checked. Then you’re ready to go!



Now that you’ve got a table, make sure to format it perfectly with our tips 8 Formatting Tips for Perfect Tables in Microsoft Word Microsoft Word tables are essential formatting tools. Find out how to make a table and format it perfectly with these simple tips. Read More .

Have you made any tables with this trick? Do you like using keyboard shortcuts for small tasks like this, or would you prefer the Ribbon? Let us know by commenting!

Image Credit: vinnstock via

Related topics: Keyboard Shortcuts, Microsoft Word, Productivity.

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  1. Fred Thompson
    December 11, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Premise is wrong. All those key presses aren't faster than using the mouse, just a different way to do it.

  2. Bob
    December 11, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    This does not seem to work in Word 2007. In Word 2007 it seems to require a sequence of +_+_+_+ or +-+-+ (plus signs with dashes or underscores in-between).