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: Converting Tables to Text.

Converting Tables to Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 10, 2020)

Tables are a great boon to users of Word. When you are working with documents that were created in a different word processor, however, tables can be a nuisance. For instance, one WordTips reader complained that his two-column text created in another word processor was converted in Word to tables. He asked for a way to automatically convert all the tables to text, without the need to process each table manually.

The following macro, AllTablesToText, will do the trick. It steps through each table in the current document and converts them all to text, with tabs between columns:

Sub AllTablesToText()
    Dim t As Table

    For Each t in ActiveDocument.Tables
        t.ConvertToText Separator:=wdSeparateByTabs
    Next t
End Sub

If you don't want tabs between columns, all you need to do is change the value assigned to the Separator parameter. You can use wdSeparateByCommas, wdSeparateByDefaultListSeparator, or wdSeparateByParagraphs.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13171) 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: Converting Tables to 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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