Adding Multiple Rows to a Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 9, 2016)

19

Heather often works with templates that have three-row tables already present (i.e. a header row plus three empty rows). Sometimes, she needs to add 10 or 20 rows to the table. To insert the rows, Heather highlights the three existing rows and clicks 'Insert Row Below.' She then selects all six rows and repeats the process, until she has the number of rows she need. This is tedious, so Heather is wondering if there's a way to simply tell Word how many rows she wants to add, rather than having to take this patchwork approach or create a whole new table.

There are actually many different ways you can add the rows you want to the table. (Flexible? Yep. Word is flexible!) One way is to rely on the trusty F4 key. Insert a single row into your table, and then repeatedly press the F4 key until you have the number of rows you want. The F4 key repeats whatever your last action was, and since the action just before you pressed it was to insert a row, that's what each press of F4 accomplishes.

Another approach is to position the insertion point in the very last (bottom-right) cell of the table. Press the Tab key and Word adds a row to the table. The reason it does this is because the Tab key actually moves to the next cell in the table. Since there is no "next cell," Word creates one by adding the row. As you continue to press Tab, the insertion point moves through the cells in the new row until it gets to the last cell and, pressing Tab another time again adds a new row. It is more keypresses than the F4 method, but if your table doesn't have a lot of columns is easy to do.

An easy way that I often use to add multiple rows is to select one of the rows, press Ctrl+C (to copy the row to the Clipboard) and then immediately start pressing Ctrl+V. Each press of Ctrl+V adds another row to the table.

If you are using Word 2013 or Word 2016, you can also insert table rows easily using the mouse. Make sure the insertion point is somewhere within the table, and then move the mouse pointer just to the left of the table and between two rows. Word displays an "insert indicator." (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Inserting a table row in Word 2013 and Word 2016.

Click the plus sign on the indicator as many times as you want; each click inserts a new row.

You could also position the insertion point immediately below the existing table and use the Insert Table option (on the Insert tab of the ribbon, click the Table tool and then choose Insert Table). In the resulting dialog box, specify how many columns you want (the same as the number in your current table) and how many rows. When you click OK, Word inserts the rows and makes them a continuation of the previous table. You may need to adjust the column widths on the new rows to match the existing rows, but you'll get exactly the number of rows you want with one action.

If you would like to use a macro to do the trick, this one is particularly helpful.

Sub AddTableRows()
    If Selection.Information(wdWithInTable) Then
        Application.Dialogs(wdDialogTableInsertRow).Show
    Else
        MsgBox "Insertion point not in a table!"
    End If
End Sub

All you need to do is to make sure the insertion point is within the table and then run the macro. (Remember you can assign it to the Quick Access Toolbar or a shortcut key.) When you do, you'll see the Insert Rows dialog box. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Insert Rows dialog box.

Just enter the number of rows you want and when you click OK, Word inserts that number into the table.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13454) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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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Comments

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What is 4 + 7?

2016-11-18 14:29:35

T Ryan

THANK YOU! Figured there was a way to do that and finally Googled it! This was, by far, the the best directions on how to get it done!


2016-07-17 18:23:57

Heather King

Just wanted to say thanks to Allen and all who contributed to this tip. I was on leave last week so have only just seen that my question has been answered. There are a couple of ideas here that will definitely make the job a lot easier.


2016-07-15 08:19:56

Lee Batchelor

Hi Chris,

I only tried this technique using a blank table (no data). I just tried it with the table cells containing some data. The rows still append but I too have an extra row. So I add five rows through the macro, but I end up with six. I too must delete the extra row, which is no big deal. I suppose you could trick the macro. If you need five extra rows, type "4" in the text box.

I'm not sure why your rows are still being "inserted above" instead of appended.

If you wish to PM me, I'm at acre@cogeco.ca What version of Word are you using? I'm using Word 2007. I upgraded (downgraded actually) to word 2010, and all kinds of neat things from Word 2007 disappeared, and a whole bunch of annoying crap appeared in 2010 - typical MS nonsense! I have since gone back to 2007. Send me a message if you wish.

- Lee


2016-07-14 11:13:34

Chris

Hi Lee,

I can't seem to get it to append. Keeps inserting above giving me 6 rows instead of the 5. :(

At least it's easy to delete the extra row!


2016-07-13 09:10:09

Lee Batchelor

Chris,

I copied and pasted a table from a previous document and placed the cursor in the last row and column. I used the macro and the new rows were placed above the insertion point as you mentioned.

To fix this, place the cursor in the last row and column, press Tab. A new blank row is created. Use the macro on the newly created row and the new rows are appended (not inserted) to the table. Another neat thing is, I wanted to add five new rows, so I performed the same procedure. At first, I thought if I create a new row with the Tab key and add five rows, I end up with six new rows (one too many). This doesn't happen! When you create the new row and use the macro, you still get a total of five new rows! Neat! It works:).


2016-07-13 08:23:49

Lee Batchelor

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the Paste-->Merge idea. Very useful! I didn't know that.

When I run the macro, the rows are placed below the table when the table is inserted from the Insert tab-->Tables group-->Select rows and columns (where you cursor over the rows and columns you want).

I noticed when you build a table from any other method in the list, the rows are placed above, as you mentioned. So, it seems the macro only works on a table that is defined using the first method I described.

I wonder if we could post this issue on the Help Wanted part of Allen's Word Tips page. Perhaps someone could amend the macro so that it always "appends" the new rows instead of "inserting" them above.


2016-07-12 18:11:20

Chris

Lee - When I run the macro, it inserts rows above the row in which my cursor is placed, not below. Is there a way to make it insert the rows below?


2016-07-12 17:56:59

Chris

Lee - you are right, this does not quite work if you are only copying info from one column. It will merge but it will only add one column, not the total number of columns.

However, if you are copying the rows (with same number of columns) from one document to another, you can use the "Paste" icon drop-down and select Merge Table (M).

After copying the rows from the first document, switch to target document, place your cursor in the last cell of the table into which you want to paste the copied rows, then use the "Paste" icon drop-down and select Merge Table (M).

Thanks for the macro!


2016-07-12 08:49:05

Lee Batchelor

I use the macro. It works better than all this fussing with Tabs and such.

Chris - your method works well when adding one row of data at a time. When you need to add 45 copied items to a column you can't use your method. The 45 rows must exist first - I think :).

Rachel - if the macro works when you click Run, then you know he macro works. It can now be assigned to a button you create in the Quick Access Toolbar. Do you know how to do that?

As mentioned earlier, this appears to be a simple fix that MS should have passed along to us. Let's stop letting them off the hook. They continue to take advantage of those who know how to write VBA code. Most people are lost when it comes to that - myself included.

I would love to see Word Tips become a full fledged forum. I know there are dozens out there already, but this one is far less convoluted.


2016-07-12 05:43:21

Surendera M. Bhanot

I posted it earlier too. But it was not published.

Here it is again.

To entre a row anywhere in the table Just place the cursor at the end of the row (outside the last cell of the row) below which you want to insert the row and press <enter>. Anew row will be inserted. Repeat this for more rows to be entered.

If you want to move a row above and below, or even out of the table (above the table/text or below the table/text) just press and hold <Shift> + <Alt> and press the appropriate arrow key till the row is moved to desired place. You can do this for a number of rows by selecting number of rows.

Just give it a try!!


2016-07-11 13:33:42

J Bonilla

Any way to make the macro insert new rows below the insertion point, and not above it?


2016-07-11 12:34:37

Danette

Thank you for that handy macro!
Sweet! *8)


2016-07-11 12:10:19

Holly

I learned something new today! Thanks for sharing :)


2016-07-11 12:03:23

Chris

No need to add rows before you add data. Hit TAB at end of last (initial table) row, which will add a new row, add/insert data in the new row as you tab across the row's cells, at end - press TAB again and it will add a new row. You are tabbing from cell to cell anyway to input the data - just continue to tab at the end of each line. Don't make it harder than it is.


2016-07-11 10:48:04

Rachel Rifkind

This mactro only works when I click Run when viewing. Neither the keyboard or the quick access will work. Any suggestions?


2016-07-11 10:23:28

Bob M.

You do not need to press TAB repeatedly. Just press once, and hold it.


2016-07-10 18:20:55

Lee Batchelor

Good idea, Bob. Problem is I have constructed tables for clients who initially needed four rows for their data. One month or so later, they need me to add 45 new rows of information. MS never thought of this VERY possible scenario - it's basic word processing for technical writers. And then, they refused to fix it - typical MS.

Good thought though. I have used your idea several times. Trouble is, it lets MS off the hook. Not good.


2016-07-09 10:30:01

Bob Stillerman

The easiest way i know of is to highlight the number of rows you wish to add in the existing table (selection highlighting) and using the Layout Group, Insert Below. The number of row that have been highlighted are inserted below.


2016-07-09 07:54:30

Lee Batchelor

Good input everyone.

Is Word flexible? Perhaps – if you want to call having several tedious ways to do the same thing “flexible.” For my money, the macro is the best way because I assume it does not require column width adjustments. Hopefully, it adds x number of rows with the same properties as the other rows and columns. If so, the macro has good usability, where the other methods don’t.

Therefore, why doesn’t MS add this code to the existing code, and then send it to users by means of an update?? For me, there are two possible explanations: it’s far more expensive than I know or they simply don’t care. The patch would show up after the update is installed. From there, we could right-click the command and add it to the QAT. The developers for virtually all other software I have used, think nothing of sending through handy, simple patches like these. Why not MS??

Thanks again to all who contributed their ideas, especially the macro!


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