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: Putting Something in Every Cell of a Table.

Putting Something in Every Cell of a Table

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 7, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


In my line of work, I need to create documents that contain many tables. These tables must follow a rigid structure, including the requirement that no cell can be empty. (If a cell would otherwise be empty, it must contain the characters "N/A".)

To aid in working with this requirement for tables, I created a macro that examines the table for me and adds the N/A characters, where appropriate. All I need to do is place the insertion point within the target table, and then run this macro:

Sub AddTableNA()
    Dim NumRows As Integer
    Dim NumCols As Integer
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim K As Integer
    Dim ChkTxt As String

    If Not Selection.Information(wdWithInTable) Then
        Exit Sub
    End If

    NumRows = Selection.Tables(1).Rows.Count
    NumCols = Selection.Tables(1).Columns.Count

    'Loop to select each row in the current table
    For J = 1 To NumRows
        'Loop to select each cell in the current row
        For K = 1 To NumCols
            'Select the cell to check
            Selection.Tables(1).Rows(J).Cells(K).Select
            'Copy any text in the cell
            ChkTxt = Selection.Text
            'Strip off the last 2 characters (removes end of cell marker)
            ChkTxt = Left(ChkTxt, Len(ChkTxt) - 2)
            'If empty, add "n/a" text
            If (ChkTxt = "") Then Selection.TypeText ("N/A")
        Next K
    Next J
End Sub

The macro first checks to see if the insertion point is within a table. If not, then the macro is exited early. If so, then the NumRows and NumCols variables are set to the number of rows and columns in the table, respectively.

The macro then steps through each cell of each row, determining if the cell contains anything. Because of the way that Word constructs tables, a cell will always contain something—the end-of-cell marker—even if nothing else is in it. The solution was to subtract two characters from the end of the text in the cell, and then see if anything was left. If not, then the characters "N/A" are typed into the cell.

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 (13265) 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: Putting Something in Every Cell of 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Shading a Cell Until Something is Entered

Conditional formatting provides the opportunity to get very creative with your formatting. One such creative urge can be ...

Discover More

Merge and Center Not Available

What are you to do if you are trying to format a worksheet, only to find out that one of the tools you need is not ...

Discover More

Formatting Canadian Postal Codes

Postal codes in Canada consist of six characters, separated into two groups. This tip explains the format and then shows ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Placing Text in Empty Table Cells

Tables are often used to organize information into an understandable format. If your company requires that tables in ...

Discover More

Creating and Using Standardized Tables

If you have a common table layout that you want to use again and again, you'd benefit by having an easy way to save that ...

Discover More

Entering Tabs in a Table

When you press the Tab key while entering info into a table, Word dutifully moves to the next table cell. If you don't ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven minus 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

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.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.