Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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)

6

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 Office 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. ...

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What is 8 + 1?

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?


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