Format Tables

PPT Productivity PowerPoint add-in has 200+ time saving features. Format Tables features include shortcuts to create tables from boxes, convert tables to boxes , Paste data into PowerPoint table without source formatting, Auto table size optimizer and more. PPT Productivity lets you format your tables quickly in PowerPoint!

Create table from text boxes

Convert a set of text boxes to a table in PowerPoint easily, maintaining formatting and shape size.

Great if you've got a PowerPoint slide full of text boxes, but want to group text boxes together to manipulate as a table. Feature also works to convert a single text box to PowerPoint table. Also useful for converting PowerPoint box tables (popular in some consulting firms) into PowerPoint table format, before sending the final editable version to your client.

Productivity Tip

Select one slide and shapes will be automatically grouped together in tables(s) in that slide. If you select multiple slides, all shapes on the selected slides will become tables.

Looking to convert the text in one text box to a table format? Check out PPT Productivity's Convert text to PowerPoint table feature.

Shortcut Keys

All PPT Productivity features can be used via the Customizable PowerPoint Shortcuts feature. You can update the shortcut keys to any preferred available combination, but to get you started we have set up the following:

Convert PowerPoint Text boxes to Table PowerPoint Shortcut: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Q

Convert table to text boxes

Deconstruct each cell of a PowerPoint table into separate text box shapes, maintaining formatting and size.

Great if you've been given a PowerPoint slide with a table that you need to format as individual shapes, or to quickly create a slide packed full of text boxes, squares or rectangles. Also useful for converting PowerPoint tables into box table format (popular in some Management Consulting firms like McKinsey marvin table format).

Box tables are preferred by some consultants as the format gives you greater flexibility in how you present the table.

Productivity Tip

You can select multiple tables on a slide to convert all tables to text boxes at once.

Convert text to table

Save time when you need to change a textbox of information in PowerPoint into a table. This PPT Productivity feature lets you easily convert text to table format in PowerPoint.

Select the textbox on your PowerPoint slide containing the text you would like to convert. Click the Convert to table in PowerPoint feature and a popup box with options will appear. Simply choose the delimiter (tab, comma, none or enter custom delimited) and formatting actions and your table will appear. For example - choose tab delimiter to convert a bulleted or numbered list in a text box to a table. Each line will be converted to a separate row.

Formatting options include making the table height the same as the text box height; option for the table replacing the text box and option regarding keeping the formatting of the text box.

Productivity Tip

Uncheck the 'keep formatting' option if you want the table to be inserted using your presentation theme's table format.

Looking to group multiple text boxes to create a table? Check out the Convert text boxes to table feature.

Trying to paste text from a word document or other source file into a PowerPoint table? Check out PPT Productivity's Paste data without source formatting feature.

Insert columns and rows

Insert a new column or row in PowerPoint tables, without changing the existing table width.

Easily insert a new column or row into a PowerPoint table without impacting table width. PPT Productivity has four buttons that provide single click access from the ribbon - you can insert a column to the left or right, or to insert a row above or below.

Adding columns will not change the existing width of your table, however adding rows will increase table height.

Productivity Tip

Combine this feature with PPT Productivity's Autofit Columns in PowerPoint feature if you want to optimize column widths of your table to minimize table height (based on contents).

Shortcut Keys

All PPT Productivity features can be used via the Customizable PowerPoint Shortcuts feature. You can update the shortcuts to any preferred available combination, but to get you started we have set up the following custom shortcuts to insert columns and rows into PowerPoint tables:

  • PowerPoint Shortcut to insert a column in table to the left: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Left
  • PowerPoint Shortcut to insert a column in table to the right: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Right
  • PowerPoint Shortcut to insert a row above in table: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Up and
  • PowerPoint Shortcut to insert a row below in table: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Down

Paste Excel data without formatting

Paste data into PowerPoint table format, but retain the table formatting (so table appearance is not impacted by data's source formatting). Exported data may be from Excel/ HTML/ CSV (comma, tab, or semicolon separated data).

When you paste Excel data into an existing table in PowerPoint, the table formatting is impacted by the data source. Table colors and fonts may change, and data does not paste correctly if there are insufficient columns and rows in the table.

However PPT Productivity's Paste Excel to PowerPoint without formatting feature solves these frustrations. Use the 'Paste data as table' feature to paste data into an existing PowerPoint table on your slide and maintain the table's formatting.

  • Clipboard data is added to the selected table, at the selected cell
  • Extra table rows/ columns are automatically added to fit the data (if required)
  • If a subset of table cells is selected, data is only updated in those cells
  • If no table is selected, a new table is created in the default table style (based on your presentation's theme)
Once you have copied your data, click the Ribbon menu to paste, or right-click on a slide or within an existing table to access the special paste from Excel/HTML/CSV commands
Productivity Tip

Paste any type of tabular data from the clipboard - HTML, CSV, tab separated, semi-colon - or Ctrl+click to specify any other preferred delimiter.

Set cell margins

Small but mighty, this feature can save you a huge amount of time formatting Shape and Table Margins in PowerPoint.

If you have ever tried to change the cell margins in a PowerPoint Table, you know how much time this can take. With PPT Productivity's magic margins button, you can instantly set cell margins in any PowerPoint Table or Shape to Narrow, Wide, Normal or None.

Or you can use the PPT Productivity Customize Margins settings in one click to set specific one-off margin dimensions.

Productivity Tip

To help keep your PowerPoint layouts consistent across presentations, set preferred default margins so you can quickly apply your Table format in any PowerPoint presentation.

Express Table layout

Quickly Format the layout of PowerPoint Tables using the Express Layout feature.

Apply the predefined default format to your Tables in a single click, or customize to your preferences. Add row gaps, stripes and update the colors of the Tables in your presentation, fast. When you click PPT Productivity's Express Table Layout for PowerPoint feature, a popup displays to select:

  • Header rows
  • Table stripes
  • Whether the left column is a heading column (if yes, it provides a fill color option for the column)
  • Row and column gaps can also be quickly selected from here
The Express format function remembers your previous preferences so you can quickly apply the same formatting attributes to other Tables in your PowerPoint presentation.

Table stripes

Adding row stripes to PowerPoint Tables helps make your table easier to read. However Standard PowerPoint does not auto update row stripes when rows are added or deleted.

PPT Productivity's Table Stripes for PowerPoint feature lets you add row stripes to your PowerPoint Tables in a single click. If you check the box to indicate you have a header row, stripes are only applied to subsequent rows. Stripes will alternate between each row resulting in clear, easy to read Tables.

If you have applied row stripes to your PowerPoint Table and then insert or delete row(s), simply toggle the stripes on and off by clicking the feature button to reset. The Table Stripes function will recognize the new number of rows and re-apply the Stripes accordingly.

Productivity Tip

Management Consultants use table stripes rather than row and column borders to improve the readability of tables. Currently PowerPoint does not enable users to save table templates, but if you have created a table layout you would like to reuse you can save it to the Slide Library Trying to update tables in an existing presentation? Use the Table stripes feature to fix one PowerPoint table, then use PPT Productivity's Table format painter to apply the formatting across the remaining tables.

You can quickly insert it into any other presentation from the Slide Library Toolbar.

Autofit columns

This feature is a 'magic' button that modifies column width and row height based on contents, to optimize PowerPoint table size. The feature autofits to create the smallest height table possible (given your table's content).

PPT Productivity's PowerPoint Autofit columns feature keeps the width of your table but adjusts each column's width within it based on the contents. Use this feature once you have finished entering data into your table.

Note - the autofit column feature was updated in May 2022 to make the feature faster and to prevent longer words breaking within a column.

Productivity Tip

If you have applied the Autofit feature and your table is still slightly too long, try adjusting the cell margins.

Shortcut Keys

All PPT Productivity features can be used via the Customizable PowerPoint Shortcut Keys feature. You can update the shortcut keys to any preferred available combination, but the default PPT Productivity shortcut key for autofit optimizing PowerPoint column width

and row height based on content is: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+U

Evenly space columns

Distribute columns evenly across PowerPoint tables, while taking into account any columns used as column gaps.

PPT Productivity lets you quickly adjust columns in a PowerPoint Table, to ensure each column is the same width and evenly distributed.

Using column gaps? No problem, the Distribute PowerPoint Columns Evenly feature recognizes where there a column gaps and takes this into account when updating the spacing.

Productivity Tip

Column gaps are a great Management Consulting trick. Create tables with an empty (narrow) column between each row of content to provide additional spacing in your table layout (make sure you turn off the border outlines! Use Table Stripes instead of lines for a more professional PowerPoint table).

Align shapes over tables

Align shapes over PowerPoint tables quickly with this timesaving feature.

PPT Productivity lets you select shapes on your slide and click to align them over your PowerPoint table. Shapes are automatically aligned to the centre of table cells. There are three feature buttons (and you can assign each a custom PowerPoint shortcut):

  • Align over table: Select shapes to be aligned and click. Feature finds the table and aligns the shapes to the centre of each cell
  • Align over column: Select shapes to be aligned and click. Feature aligns the shapes to the centre of the closest column
  • Align over row: Select shapes to be aligned and click. Feature aligns the shapes to the centre of the closest row
You do not need to select the table - the feature identifies the table on your PowerPoint slide and auto aligns selected shapes to the centre of the cells, based on your selection of the row, column or table feature buttons.
Productivity Tip

This feature is great for adding shapes or images e.g. stars, images or flags to align in table. But if you're using Harvey Balls or Status indicators in your tables, check out the harvey balls for PowerPoint tables and status indicators for PowerPoint tables features.

These features let you embed harvey balls or status indicators into tables, with additional formatting options.

Harvey Balls for Tables

How do you add Harvey balls to a table in PowerPoint? You can use PPT Productivity's Harvey Balls for Tables feature! Embed Harvey Balls in PowerPoint tables, so they move with the columns when you adjust the table dimensions. Add standard size 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, empty or full Harvey Balls. Or choose a custom fill Harvey Ball and enter a % value. You can align, resize and recolor the Harvey Balls.

Using PPT Productivity's Harvey Balls for PowerPoint Tables feature, insert Harvey Balls into PowerPoint tables so they snap to the table cell. Harvey Balls embed in your PowerPoint table and can be aligned and resized as you move columns or change the table size.

PPT Productivity's Harvey Balls have two modes. Click the Harvey Ball feature from PPT Productivity's Format Toolbar or from the PPT Productivity Ribbon, and your selected Harvey Ball will be inserted onto your PowerPoint slide as shapes. Or click to insert from a cell in a table (or a group of cells selected in a table) and the Harvey Balls for Tables will be added.

Harvey Balls will appear correctly for any users viewing the presentation (even if they do not use PPT Productivity).

You can easily change Harvey Ball colors. To change Harvey Ball colors for Tables, click the Harvey Ball button from the Shapes group on the PPT Productivity tab on the Ribbon and navigate down to Change Color. Select your preferred color and click ok. Subsequent Harvey Balls added to your table will be appear in your selected color.

Easily align the Harvey Balls in your PowerPoint table using PPT Productivity's alignment shortcuts or standard PowerPoint alignment features.

Harvey Balls can be added to your slide using the Harvey Ball buttons on the PPT Productivity Ribbon or the Harvey Ball button on the Format Toolbar.

Productivity Tip

Easily update Harvey Balls on your slide. If one or more Balls are selected prior to clicking the button, any selected Harvey Balls will be updated (rather than a new ball being inserted).

Looking for a Harvey Ball Chart template? PPT Productivity's Downloadable Slides and Shapes includes PowerPoint Harvey Ball Chart templates, Harvey Ball table templates and more.

Shortcut Keys

All PPT Productivity features can be used via the Customizable Shortcut Keys for PowerPoint feature. You can add shortcut keys for Harvey Balls (you can add separate shortcut keys to insert Harvey Balls with 1/4 fill, 1/2 fill, 3/4 fill, full and empty).

Status Indicators for Tables

Easily add status indicators to PowerPoint. You can add the status indicator symbols anywhere on your slide, but when you add status indicators to a PowerPoint table, they embed into the table and move as table row or column sizes are adjusted.

PPT Productivity's PowerPoint Status indicators include directional arrows - up arrow, trend up arrow, down arrow, trend down arrow, trend unchanged arrow, a plus and minus sign, a tick / check mark and cross and positive, neutral and negative status balls that can be used for PowerPoint traffic light status reports.

By default status indicators are colored in red, amber, green. You can customize the color based on your preference or template theme colors via the settings.

Status indicators resize by dragging when outside the table (they behave like PowerPoint shapes) or within the table by adjusting the font size.

Productivity Tip

Have a different custom status indicator that you prefer to use? Remember that you can save custom shapes and slides to your PowerPoint Slide Library ready for easy reuse.


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