Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Filling Table Cells with a Macro.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 5, 2014)
As you are working with tables in Word, you may want to fill the various cells in a table with a set value. For instance, you might want to copy something to the Clipboard, and then paste the contents of the Clipboard to each cell in a table. The following macro will do the trick:
Sub PasteToCells() Dim TargetRange As Range Dim oTargCell As Cell If Selection.Cells.Count = 0 Then 'Quit if no cells in selection MsgBox "No cells selected", vbCritical Exit Sub End If On Error Resume Next Set TargetRange = Selection.Range For Each oTargCell In Selection.Cells oTargCell.Range.Paste Next oTargCell TargetRange.Select End Sub
The macro starts by checking to make sure that the selection includes some cells. If not, then the user is informed and the macro is ended. Then the selection is stored in a variable so that it can be selected (again) at the end of the macro. Without this code, the macro would leave the insertion point collapsed in the first cell of the original selection.
The real meat of the macro is in the For ... Next loop. It steps through the cells in the selection and replaces whatever is there with the contents of the Clipboard. Finally, the original selection is again selected, and the macro ends.
You probably noticed that there is an On Error statement in the macro, as well. This statement basically tells Word to ignore any errors and continue with the next statement. Errors that could be triggered include running the macro with nothing in the Clipboard or trying to paste a table within a table cell. Word won't do either task, but it will continue trying until it is done with all the cells in the selection.
You should note that this macro replaces whatever is in the selected cells with the contents of the Clipboard; whatever was previously in the cells is lost. If you want to instead add information to the beginning of the cells, without disturbing the existing contents of the cell, you could use this slightly modified macro:
Sub PasteToCellsStart() Dim TargetRange As Range Dim oTargCell As Cell Dim PasteRange As Range If Selection.Cells.Count = 0 Then 'Quit if no cells in selection MsgBox "No cells selected", vbCritical Exit Sub End If On Error Resume Next Set TargetRange = Selection.Range For Each oTargCell In Selection.Cells Set PasteRange = oTargCell.Range PasteRange.Collapse wdCollapseStart PasteRange.Paste Next oTargCell TargetRange.Select End Sub
One last modification would be to come up with a macro that would paste to the end of what is in the cells. You might think that you could replace wdCollapseStart with wdCollapseEnd in the foregoing macro, but that doesn't work properly within tables. Instead, you must replace the For ... Next loop in the above macro. The following example shows a changed version of the macro.
Sub PasteToCellsEnd() Dim TargetRange As Range Dim oTargCell As Cell Dim PasteRange As Range If Selection.Cells.Count = 0 Then 'Quit if no cells in selection MsgBox "No cells selected", vbCritical Exit Sub End If On Error Resume Next Set TargetRange = Selection.Range For Each oTargCell In Selection.Cells Set PasteRange = oTargCell.Range.Characters.Last PasteRange.Collapse wdCollapseStart PasteRange.Paste Next oTargCell TargetRange.Select End Sub
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13157) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Filling Table Cells with a Macro.
The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!
Need to make sure that all the cells of a table have something in them? It's easy to do with a handy little macro.Discover More
There are a couple of different ways you can select an entire table in Word. The methods and shortcuts are described in ...Discover More
Do you need a quick way to format your tables? Believe it or not, there are several tools you can use from Word's arsenal ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.