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: Converting a Table into Text.

Converting a Table into Text

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 8, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


There may be times when you want to convert an existing table into text. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Select the entire table you want to convert to text.
  2. Make sure the Layout tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  3. In the Data group, click the Convert to Text tool. Word displays the Convert Table to Text dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Convert Table to Text dialog box.

  5. Select the appropriate character that Word should use to separate the columns of text.
  6. Click on OK.

Depending on your version of Word, you may have noticed, in step 4, that there are actually two Layout tabs on the ribbon. This is because when you selected the table in step 1, Word automatically added two context-appropriate tabs to the ribbon—the Table Design and Layout tabs. It is this second context-appropriate tab (Layout) that you want to select in step 2.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9227) 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: Converting a Table into Text.

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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