Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
• If you create a chart from data in a table, the chart series expands automatically after you add new data.
• Tables support structured references. Rather than using cell references, formulas can use table names and
column headers.
• When you move your mouse pointer to the lower-right corner of the lower-right cell, you can click and drag
to extend the table's size horizontally (add more columns) or vertically (add more rows).
• Excel is able to remove duplicate rows automatically. You can get this same functionality in a list by choos-
ing Data Data Tools Remove Duplicates.
• If your company uses Microsoft's SharePoint service, you can easily publish a table to your SharePoint serv-
er. Choose Table Tools Design External Table Data Export Export Table to SharePoint List.
• Selecting rows and columns within the table is simplified.
Table limitations
Although an Excel table offers several advantages over a normal list, the Excel designers did impose some re-
strictions and limitations on tables. These limitations include the following:
• If a workbook contains a table, you cannot create or use custom views in that workbook (View⇒Workbook
Views⇒Custom Views).
• A table cannot contain multicell array formulas.
• You cannot insert automatic subtotals (Data⇒Outline⇒Subtotal).
• You cannot share a workbook that contains a table (Review⇒Changes⇒Protect and Share Workbook).
• You cannot track changes in a workbook that contains a table (Review⇒Changes⇒Track Changes).
• You cannot use the Home⇒Alignment⇒Merge & Center command cells in a table (which makes sense because
doing so would break up the rows or columns).
• You cannot use Flash Fill (a new feature in Excel 2013) within a table.
If you encounter any of these limitations, just convert the table back to a list by using Table
Tools⇒Design⇒Tools⇒Convert to Range.
Working with Tables
It may take you a while to get use to working with tables, but you'll soon discover that a table offers many ad-
vantages over a standard list.
The sections that follow cover common operations that you perform with a table.
Creating a table
Although Excel allows you to create a table from an empty range, most of the time you'll create a table from an
existing range of data (a list). The following instructions assume that you already have a range of data suitable
for a table.
1. Make sure that the range doesn't contain any completely blank rows or columns.
2. Activate any cell within the range.
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