Microsoft Word/tables


Hi Suzanne,

I have a long list of words, and I want to put them into a table with 3 columns.  I am able to do it using the table tab on Microsoft Word, but the words come across the page instead of down, so if I wanted apple, banana, carrot as the first three words in the list, they would appear in the first, second & third columns, instead of as a list one under the other in the first column, which is what I want.  I use Microsoft Word 2000.

I hope you can help me, and thanks for the opportunity to ask a question.

Best regards,

Do you really need a table? If not, use newspaper-style columns instead. Select all the words and use Format | Columns, choosing the preset picture for "Three." This will give you the list in three columns.

If you really need a table, start by formatting the list into three newspaper-style columns, then select the list and use Table | Convert | Text to Table to create a table. If you select "Paragraphs" for "Separate text at," Word should automatically generate a single column, but you can set "Number of columns" to 1 manually if necessary. This will give you a single-column table with one word (or text block, if this is something like an address list) in each cell. If you are creating something like an address list, make sure that the lines in each address block end in line breaks (Shift+Enter) rather than paragraph breaks so that each address will be in a single cell. You can set exact row heights for the cells to make them uniform.
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This topic answers questions related to Microsoft Word stand-alone or Microsoft Office Word including Word 2003, Word 2007, Office 2000, and Office XP. You can get Word help on formatting text, tables, tabs, fonts, styles, general Word layouts, bullets, headings, and outlines, using templates, toolbar modifications, and using Track Changes. You may also find tips on linking Word and Excel embedded objects including charts. This site does not provide a general Word tutorial nor the basics of using a word processor. It provides specific answers to using Microsoft Word only. If you do not see your Word question answered in this area then please ask a Word question here

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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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