Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 12: Managing Lists and Data
Defining a range as a table makes the following changes, some of which are not
immediately apparent. (We explain these changes in more detail in “Formatting and Using Tables”
on page 391.)
Column widths expand as needed to display header text in full. If column headers are
not included, Excel adds generic headers—Column1, Column2, and so on.
A down arrow appears to the right of each column heading, allowing quick sort and
filter operations.
When any cell within the table is selected, a Design tab with customization options
appears on the ribbon, under the Table Tools heading.
A default name is assigned to the table; you can change the name to a more
descriptive one by using the Table Name box in the Properties group on the Table Tools
Design tab.
Any cell addresses used in formulas within the table are automatically converted to
structured references.
A triangular handle in the lower right corner of the table allows you to quickly
add rows or columns to the table, preserving formatting and copying formulas
Tables offer a tremendously versatile way to work with large and small amounts of data.
In fact, as we explain later in this chapter, a table can serve as the source of data for a
PivotTable report, and you can export a table to a SharePoint list or to any of several
external data formats.
INSIDE OUT Don’t lose track of headings when you scroll
One of the hidden advantages of creating a table from a range is a small but
significant improvement in scrolling. If your list is long enough that scrolling through the
list causes the Header row to scroll up and off the screen, Excel has an elegant ix. The
headings from the table replace the column headings in the worksheet frame,
complete with the arrow that allows you to sort and filter. The effect is similar to what
happens if you freeze the top row of the table, but it requires no effort from you beyond
creating the table in the first place.
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