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2,812 Tutorials

How to work with tables in Microsoft Excel 2007

Good organisation is key to an efficient small business

To compile and use data as tables you will need a copy of Microsoft Excel 2007.

Good organisation is the key to running an efficient small business. Whether it's managing contacts, using customer management tools, planning your time with scheduling software or keeping track of all data using Excel, spending a little time every day sorting out things should mean you spend more time filling up your bank account in the long run.

Step 1

Step 1

Step 1 Creating a table within Excel 2007 is simple. Once you've typed a few rows and columns of data into your Excel worksheet, drag your mouse over any cells that contain information you want to put in your table. On the toolbar ribbon find the Style section, then select 'Format as Table'.

Step 2

Step 2

Step 2 A gallery offering formatting options will open in a new window, from which you can select from a number of preinstalled formats. Click on a format and Excel prompts you to choose the range of cells to convert into a table. The cells you've already selected will be surrounded with a dotted line.

Step 3

Step 3

Step 3 If your table has a heading row, ensure that the 'My table has headers' option in the selection dialog is ticked. Click ok to convert a selected text into a table of your chosen style. Once you've created a table you'll be able to access several special functions, including 'Integrated autofilter' and 'Sort'.

Step 4

Step 4

Step 4 If you've created a table with headers, click on the arrow next to each one to access a drop-down menu that allows you to filter and sort data in that column. Excel can sort by date, numerical size, operator arguments and other criteria. The 'Sort by Color' option lets you add levels and specify other criteria.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 5 If you enter text in the cells next to your table, Excel assumes you're adding to the table and automatically increase its size. However, if this isn't what you intended, you can undo this expansion or turn off this feature using the smart tag that appears once your table has expanded.

Step 6

Step 6

Step 6 It's easy to select an entire row or column. Move your mouse to the top until the cursor turns into a downwards-pointing arrow. Click to automatically highlight the data within that column. Select all the data in the table by moving the cursor to the lefthand corner. An arrow will appear; click once to select the table.

Step 7

Step 7

Step 7 A feature introduced in Excel 2007 is the ability to remove duplicates. This comes in useful for large spreadsheets. Click the Data tab, then Remove Duplicates in the ribbon. Either select a header that includes duplicates or select them all. Excel will search for duplicates and automatically delete them.

Step 8

Step 8

Step 8 If you have a column of text – names of products or customers, for example – and you wish to divide it between two columns, perhaps with the colour in one column and the style in another, click on 'Text to Columns' in the toolbar ribbon. Excel will invoke a wizard that allows you to divide the text into separate columns.

Step 9

Step 9

Step 9 To ensure all the data within your table is valid, click the Data Validation tool. This will allow you to hunt down any invalid data. Click the Settings tab and define your criteria, such as using only whole numbers between 1 and 1,000. Any numbers outside these boundaries will be flagged as invalid.

Step 10

Step 10

Step 10 The Table Tools Design features allow you to define the data displayed in your table. Select and deselect options on the toolbar to display or hide headings, the last column and first column, a total column and/or a total row. Tailor the style depending on whether you wish to have banded columns or rows.

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