[How To] Convert Tables to Text in MS Word Without Losing the Format

ms-word-how-to-convert-text-to-table

In this MS Word tutorial, I’ll show you how to convert a table into text and also convert the text into a table.

Ever wanted to get the contents of a table in MS Word? There’s a few ways to do this in Word. For example,

  • Do you want to get the table’s contents only, ie the plain text? Or
  • Do you want to get the table’s contents and keep the format of the table, for example, keep the content in rows?

Here’s how to do both.

How To Convert Tables Into Plain Text

In this example, we’re going to extract the contents of the table. The simplest way to do this is to convert the table to text.

Depending on your version of Word, it’s as follows:

  • Select the table. (Table, select Table in Word 2003).
  • Click Table, Convert and then Table to Text.
  • Choose Convert Paragraph Marks to Text

This converts the table into text and then adds a paragraph mark for each character. The result is that you get a long list of words.

How To Convert Tables Into Plain Text And Keep Table Format 

How about if you wanted to keep the formatting?

You can use the Convert Tabs to Text option to convert the table to textANDadd tabs between each word.

To do this:

  • Select the table.
  • Click Table, Convert and then Table to Text.
  • Choose Convert Tabs to Text.
    How To Convert Tables Into Plain Text And Keep Table Format

This means your table settings are removed but the layout looks the same.

Updated: First published October 2011

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