Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Clearing the Contents of a Table.

Clearing the Contents of a Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 16, 2019)

7

Word includes a powerful table editor that you can use to create very complex tables. If you spend a lot of time working on a table and getting it just right, you may want to copy the table to a new location so you can use the same layout elsewhere. After copying, you will no doubt want to erase the contents of the table so that you can start to fill it out again.

An easy way to clear out the table is to select the entire table and then press the Delete key. The information in the table is cleared, but the table structure remains.

It is interesting to note that you must press the Delete key. If, instead, you press Backspace while the whole table is selected, Word deletes the entire table, not just the content of the table. (Don't ask me why; it just works that way.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7723) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Clearing the Contents of a Table.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Deleting a Header or Footer

When working with existing documents, you may need to delete a header or footer previously created. Here's how you can do ...

Discover More

Counting Cells According to Case

Text placed in cells can either be lowercase, uppercase, or a mixture of the two. If you want to count the cells based ...

Discover More

Can Only Print to Default Printer

It is helpful to be able to print out worksheets when you need to share them with others. It is even more helpful if you ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Inconsistent Repeating of a Table Header Row

When you have a table that extends over multiple pages, you may want to have Word repeat a row or two at the top of each ...

Discover More

Changing Table Cell Text Direction

When creating a table, you can turn the orientation of the text, within a cell, by ninety degrees in either direction ...

Discover More

Table Borders Won't Print

Print a table and you may be surprised if it has no borders. That could be because you actually have the borders turned ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four more than 1?

2022-03-13 14:36:48

V4VNDTA

Whoa! That worked! Thanks!


2020-02-13 22:11:34

Lola

Thank you Allen for your helpful tips. They do work, thank you. Lola.


2019-10-07 03:32:15

Jouwert van Geene

Excellent tip! I have struggled with this for a long time, great to know!
For Mac users: use the Fn-Backspace in combination


2019-08-13 05:24:35

Belarmino Vicenzo

Thanks.
I don't know why I never pressed delete xdddd


2019-03-20 09:48:55

Greg Quick

A fast and simple method of clearing the last nth rows from a Word table is include a paragraph marker after the selected rows and press the DELETE key.

I was not aware that a single selected row can be deleted with a BACKSPACE key.


2019-03-18 08:36:24

Jennifer Thomas

I knew about Delete, but not about Backspace deleting the whole table and that's pretty handy - thanks!


2019-03-16 15:58:17

Dave

What about on a Mac with no Delete key?


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.