Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Working with Tables
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 advantages over a standard worksheet database.
A major advantage of using a table is the ease with which you can format the table as well as
change the formatting. See the “Changing the look of a table” section, later in this chapter.
If you normally use a lot of named ranges in your formulas, you may find the table syntax to be a
welcome alternative to creating names for each column and the table as a whole — not to
mention the advantage of having named ranges that adjust automatically as the table changes.
A similar advantage is apparent when working with charts. If you create a chart from data in a
table, the chart series expands automatically after you add new data. If the chart data isn’t in a
table, you need to edit the chart series definitions manually (or resort to a few tricks) when new
data is added.
If your company happens to use Microsoft’s SharePoint service, you’ll see yet another advantage.
You can easily publish a table to your SharePoint server. To do so, choose Table Tools Design
External Table Data
Export Table to SharePoint List. This command displays a dialog
box in which you type the address of your server and provide additional information necessary to
publish your designated table.
Tables, however, do have a few limitations compared to a worksheet database. (See the “Table
Although an Excel table offers several advantages over a normal worksheet database, the Excel
designers did impose some restrictions and limitations on tables. Among them are that
If a worksheet contains a table, you cannot create or use custom views (View➜Workbook
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
You cannot track changes in a workbook that contains a table (Review➜Changes➜Track
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).
If you encounter any of these limitations, just convert the table back to a worksheet database by
using Table Tools➜Design➜Tools➜Convert To Range.