Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Index Number for the Active Table.

Index Number for the Active Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 13, 2018)

Mary is writing a macro that will split a table. Working on the active table isn't much of a problem, but she wants to copy the first row of the active table, then split the table, and finally paste the copied row to the first row of the new table created by the split. In order to do this properly, she wants to determine the index numbers used by Word to reference the two tables in the Tables collection. Mary wants to know how she can discover the index number for the active table (before the split) so she can simply increment that number to know the new index number for the table created after the split.

Word's object model relies on organizing individual objects into collections that can be accessed programmatically. This goes not only for tables, but for paragraphs, graphics, and a host of other objects. You can easily find the number of objects in a collection using the Count property. For instance, you could use the following to discover how many tables are in a document, as it returns the number of objects in the Tables collection:

iNumTables = ActiveDocument.Tables.Count

Finding which table is the current one is a bit trickier, but it can be done. The simplest way is to add a bookmark to the current table, and then examine all the tables in the document to see which table contains that bookmark. Once you find that out, you know which table is the current one, and you can delete the bookmark. The following macro implements these steps:

Sub FindTableNumber()
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim iTableNum As Integer
    Dim oTbl As Table

    Selection.Bookmarks.Add ("TempBM")
    For J = 1 To ActiveDocument.Tables.Count
        Set oTbl = ActiveDocument.Tables(J)
        oTbl.Select
        If Selection.Bookmarks.Exists("TempBM") Then
            iTableNum = J
            Exit For
        End If
    Next J
    ActiveDocument.Bookmarks("TempBM").Select
    ActiveDocument.Bookmarks("TempBM").Delete
    MsgBox "The current table is table " & iTableNum
End Sub

To use the macro, simply make sure that the insertion point is within the desired table. The macro can be easily adapted to a larger context, such as one where the table is split and otherwise manipulated.

There is another way to programmatically handle the underlying action that Mary wants to achieve, however—a method that doesn't require the use of index numbers for the Tables collection. You could copy the first row of the table and then split the table using a command similar to the following:

Selection.Tables(1).Split(5)

This command splits the table at row 5; you can easily change the splitting point by changing the row at which it is split. Then, you can move the insertion point to the beginning of the next table (the newly created one) by using the following command:

Selection.GoTo What:=wdGoToTable, Which:=wdGoToNext

This command jumps to the beginning of the next table, and you can then paste the header row you copied earlier.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10897) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Index Number for the Active 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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