Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Selecting a Table.

Selecting a Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 28, 2015)


There are some editing tasks that require you to select an entire table in Word. For instance, you may want to change the font used in the table, or you may want to adjust the borders around all the table cells.

You probably already know that you can position the insertion point within the table and then choose Select Table from the Layout tab of the ribbon. This is a two-step process, however, since it requires the positioning of the insertion point within the table before the table can be selected.

Another, perhaps easier way to select the table is to hold down the Alt key while you double-click on the table. This is a simple single-step approach that does not require moving the insertion point beforehand.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10842) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Selecting 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 1 + 8?

2015-06-01 08:45:36


@Lisa, that's true, but I generally separate my appendices by section brks and then use the goto feature to get to the beginning of the section.

One of the good things about Word is that there seems to be about a half dozen ways to do just about anything.

One of the bad things about Word is that there seems to be about a half dozen ways to do just about anything.


2015-06-01 02:46:29


This method might be useful when the table header gets stuck to the top margin of the page or when one gets over the other.In those conditions, it is difficult to select the table by the usual way.

2015-05-28 15:56:25


@gruntledlark: That's fine for a short table, but when you have an appendix with multiple long tables (20+ pages each), it's a pain to find the beginning of the table.

2015-05-28 11:42:07

Mark Biegert

I see the same thing. Comments on this shortcut on other web sites that say it has been replaced with "Research" on recent Excel releases (e.g. 2007). For example, see

2015-05-28 08:55:21


That's the way I do it, too.

2015-05-28 08:44:50


Hmmm... whenever I do this (ALT+dblCLK) not only does it select the whole table, but it opens up a "Research" pane as well. Very annoying. I usually just hover over the top left corner of the table until a cross-hairs in a box icon appears. Click on that and it selects the whole table w/o opening any annoying panes - AND it doesn't require you to go to the keyboard for the ALT key.

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