If Excel is one of your primary tools at work, you have been in a situation at least once in your life where you felt like you did not know how to copy a table from Excel to Word. Maybe you wanted only the text from the table or simply tried to copy the table as it looked in Excel. But you did not get the result you were looking for. Let’s change this today.
In this article, we discuss with you 7 different methods of how to copy a table from Excel to Word. We are going to talk about each method in detail. Besides showing how to do it step by step, we will discuss what makes one method better than the other in a given situation.
Now, when you want to learn anything about Excel, the more you practice, the better you become. This is why we are also sharing the Excel file with you. You may go through the file and practice further. Following the steps and applying the techniques as you progress through a method is highly recommended.
How to Copy Table from Excel to Word: 7 Terrific Methods
In the 7 excellent methods that we are going to share with you, every method offers something different from the others. Therefore, learning all the methods is what we recommend. They are explained in a very easy way with pictures for every step. It will make learning a lot more effortless.
After discussing the methods, we will tell you the factors that may help you choose your preferable technique in a given situation. We suggest you do not skip any part of this visual guide because there are bits of information everywhere that improve your Excel game. So, let’s dive in!
Method 1: Copying Table from Excel into Table in Word
For our first method, we show you how to copy a table from Excel and paste it straight into a matching table in the Word application. This method works amazingly without making any mess. As you know, copy-pasting a table from Excel to Word is a dangerous task if you do not know the proper ways.
For this article, we are working with the Excel table shown below. Specifically for this method, we are not going to copy the table formatting style but only the texts from this table. For copying an Excel table along with its style, more methods will be shown after the first two methods.
Now, this sample table may not seem intimidating because it does not have too much data. However, this method still works great even if you have a slightly bigger table to work with. You just have to follow the steps as shown here and you will see how amazing it works! Let’s begin.
1. Open the spreadsheet, and start by selecting the range of cells that you want to copy. You can simply click on the first cell and hold it, and then drag toward the end to select the data range.
Alternatively, if you want to select your entire table, select the top-left cell and then press the CTRL + SHIFT + Right Arrow buttons to select all the columns instantly. Then, press the CTRL + SHIFT + Down Arrow buttons to select the rows downwards.
When done selecting, press the CTRL + C buttons to copy the data. You can also click the right button on your mouse to bring up the context menu and then click Copy to copy the table.
2. In this step, head over to Word and take a New Document if you have nothing open to copy your table to.
3. Look in the Menu tabs lining up just above the ribbon. Click on the Insert tab.
4. Next, under the Tables section within the Insert ribbon, click on Insert Table…
5. In the newly opened mini-window, you are going to have to input the column and row numbers for your table. At this point, go back to the Excel spreadsheet and count the rows and columns for your copied table. Input those numbers in that Insert Table mini-window. In our case, our table has five columns and thirteen rows. After putting the numbers in, click OK.
6. You will see before you the blank table with the number of columns and rows you have asked for.
7. Now, select all the blank columns and rows as shown in the picture below.
8. After selecting, click your mouse’s right button in the top-left cell to bring up the context menu. Under the Paste Options, click on the Keep Text Only option as marked in the picture below.
9. Now, you will see that your table from Excel has been copied into the Word table, just the way you want!
At this point, you can even change your table’s style from the Table Design tab in the menu!
Important Tip: If you have a small table that you want to copy-paste into Word from Excel, this method will work well. If you have a huge table to copy to Word, this may prove tiresome to work with because you will have to count the columns and rows and then insert a table following those numbers in Word. In that case, all the rest of the methods discussed below are suitable for copying big tables.
Method 2: Convert Text to Table
In the previous method, manually inserting the table in Word for the Excel table was required to be done first. For this one, copy-pasting table data in the Word document happens first, and putting them inside a table comes second. This is an excellent method for copying a big table from Excel to Word.
Follow the steps below to learn how to do this fast!
1. Select and copy your Excel table. If you don’t know how to, you can follow the instructions in Step 1 of Method 1. After you are done copying, go to the Word document where you are supposed to copy the table.
2. In a space in your Word document, press the right button of your mouse which will bring up the context menu. Alternatively, you can go to the Clipboard group under the Home ribbon and click on Paste. Then click on the Keep Text Only option under the Paste Options.
Both options are demonstrated in the image below.
3. Now you will have the data from your Excel table copied into the Word document. It will look something like the picture below.
4. You may see that all the table data look scattered. But worry not. In two easy steps, we are going to sort it out.
Select all the table data.
5. Now click on the Insert tab to open the Insert ribbon. From there, click the Table option, and then from the list below, click on the Convert Text to Table…
6. In the Convert Text to Table mini-window, usually, you do not need to change anything and directly click OK. The Number of rows option is locked out and the column number is automatically filled up. However, if you feel like the column number has been miscalculated, you may change it here.
For the Separate text at option, follow the one which is separating every cell data in the Word document. The tables we copy-pasted in Word for this demonstration are separated by Tabs as you can see in Step 3 and Step 4 of this method. So, we are keeping that option selected. Finally, click the OK button.
7. Voilà! Just like that, in Word, you now have formatted your copied table data from Excel!
So easy, isn’t it?
Method 3: Excel or Source Formatting
The previous two methods copied data as text without formatting. In this method, we are going to show you how you keep the table formatting from Excel when copying it from Excel to Word.
For this method, we are still working with the same table data as shown below.
Now, in three easy steps, you will learn how to copy tables from Excel to Word using the Source Formatting option.
1. As always, select and copy the table. You may follow the instructions given in Step 1 of Method 1 on how to select and copy a table from Excel.
2. It’s time to bring those copied data to Word. There are two ways to do it. Open the Word document, press the right mouse button to bring up the context menu, and click on the Keep Source Formatting option under the Paste Options. Alternatively, you can go to the Clipboard group under the Home ribbon, and click on Paste. Then from the Paste Options, click the Keep Source Formatting option. Both approaches are shown below with the options being marked.
3. As soon as you click the directed option, you will see the copied table from Excel showing in your Word document, and it has carried over the table formatting style from Excel to Word.
Method 4: Word or Destination Formatting
In this method, we will show you how to copy a table from Excel to Word using the Destination Formatting option. When you are looking for a way to copy your table but match the formatting style of your Word document, this is how you do it.
Let’s say you have a working Word document formatting that you need to follow. The font selection, line spacing, paragraph style, etc. all these things. And you need to match the look of your copied Excel table when you bring it to Word. In our case, we are using a different font for this method to show you the difference. Let’s follow the steps.
1. Select and copy the table from your Excel sheet. Follow an approach from the ones discussed in Step 1 of Method 1 in this guide.
2. Now, you are going to have to select Destination Styles while pasting the table inside Word. For this, as always, there are two ways to go about it. You can either right-click on a space in your Word document and from the popped-up context menu, select Use Destination Styles under the Paste Options.
As another option, you may find the Paste button under the Home ribbon inside the Clipboard group. Click on it to bring up the menu and from there, click the Use Destination Styles option under the Paste Options.
Both approaches are demonstrated in the picture below. Have your pick.
3. After you have clicked the option, you will see that the table from Excel is now pasted into your Word document. But now, it is following your document styles (e.g. font, spacing, etc.)
4. You can even go ahead and change your table style further. Click on any cell of your table, and then look for the newly activated Table Design above the ribbon. Click on it and then within the Table Styles group, click the mini expand button as marked in the picture below. It will open different styles for your table.
5. Select your preferred style from the list.
6. There you have it! Your table now has a new look.
Method 5: Excel Table as a Picture in Word
This method is probably the most restricting one in terms of editability and customizability of your table. Here, the table is copied as a picture from Excel to Word. Once it is pasted as a picture, there is no going back. If any changes are to be made, you will need to do it in your Excel sheet and then copy it to Word again, and paste it as a picture.
However, this method is exactly what is needed on many occasions. Like, for when you need a snippet of table data that you need to insert within an already structured Word document, this one is a great option. It will completely look like how it appears on the Excel sheet. Let’s see how it is done by following the steps discussed below. The table that we are using for this method looks like this.
1. As always, select and copy the table from the Excel worksheet.
2. Now, like before, there are two options that you can use to paste your table as a picture in the Word document. You can either paste it from the right-click context menu within Word where you will have to select Picture under the Paste Options. As an alternative, click on the Paste button under the Clipboard group in the Home ribbon and then click the Picture option under the Paste Options. See the image below for both techniques.
3. After selecting the Picture option, you will see the table copied to your Word document as a picture.
You can select it as a picture as shown above. Notice the border where eight stretching points are visible when the picture (table here) is selected. So, you now have to treat it as a picture instead of editable table data unlike how it is in other methods.
4. If you need to edit or customize your table as a picture, select the table and the Picture Format tab will become visible in the menu bar. Click on it to see various options to customize your table as a picture if needed.
Important Tip: Remember that this method is good only when you are hundred percent certain that you will not need to edit your table data. Because, once your table is copied as a picture from Excel to Word, it is impossible to modify the values in it. You will have to change the value in the original Excel sheet and copy it again if it comes to that.
And if you do not have the original Excel sheet with you, you will have to create the table all by yourself manually in a new Excel spreadsheet.
Method 6: Excel Table As a Word Object
All the five methods discussed so far have one thing in common: they all copy tables as static tables from Excel to Word. You cannot change a value in the tables in those methods which will then automatically update other values. And Method 5 is static of the highest order; it copies the table as a picture!
However, in this Method 6 (also in the next Method 7), the game changes entirely! The tables are going to stay dynamic in this method even after you copy them from an Excel sheet and paste them into a Word document. That means if you change a value within the table, other values that are related to the one you have changed will reflect that change. How amazing is that?
For this method, we are going to use the table shown below. It is slightly different from the one used in other methods. It has a Total value added at the bottom which uses a formula to calculate the total quantity in that column. As we make changes in the table, that Total value will be used as an indicator or proof that this table is dynamic.
Let’s follow the steps and see how it can be done so easily!
1. Begin by selecting and copying the table in your Excel spreadsheet. Follow Step 1 from Method 1 if you need help on how to do it.
2. Now head over to the Word document to paste it. As before, there are two ways it can be done. But there are some differences in this one from the other ones discussed in earlier methods.
For the first approach, right-click on a space in the Word document. Notice that there is a floating bar right above the context menu. From there, click on Paste Special. Alternatively, in the Clipboard group under the Home ribbon, click on the Paste option. From the opened drop-down menu, click Paste Special. Both approaches are marked and shown in the picture below for easier understanding.
3. A new Paste Special window will pop open. Click on the Paste radio button first unless it is selected by default. Then, in the As: list to the right, select Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object. Finally, click OK to complete the process for this step.
4. Now you are going to see that your copied table from Excel has been pasted into the Word document. It looks exactly like it was in the Excel sheet.
But it’s not just what it looks like. The real fun begins in the next step.
5. Now, double-click on anywhere on the table. It will show that this table has been copied as an object into Word. Simply put, this table is now an individual Excel sheet within the Word document! How cool is that?
6. At this point, you can change any value in that table and it will be reflected instantly. For instance, take a look at the picture below. On the left, it shows the table without any changes. We are going to change the current quantity value of Butter (500mg). It stands at 7 right now and the Total quantity value is 516.
On the right, we have changed the quantity value of Butter (500mg) to 20. The Total quantity value has been automatically changed to 529 because it has a formula that calculates the total quantity by itself.
7. When you are done, simply click on the outside of the Excel Object and it will bring you back to the Word document in general. You will now see that the copied table in your Word document is showing the change as well!
How amazing is that?
Important Tip: Since this method imports the Excel sheet within the Word document, the final size of the document may become bigger than a standard doc file. And the bigger your table is, the bigger your file size will be. Moreover, this method uses a big part of your computer’s processing resources. If the table is big, your Word document may hang or work slower at times. Wait a few seconds in that case till Word sorts out itself.
So, if you have a huge table of data to work with, we highly suggest you follow the next method.
Method 7: Copying Table as a Linked Excel Worksheet
In the previous method, copying a table from Excel to Word inserted the table as an Excel sheet of its own into the Word document. It was pasted as a Word Object. In this method, we are taking a different route. This is one of the best methods you can find out there for copying tables from Excel to Word.
Let’s take a brief look at how this method works. When you use this one to copy a table from Excel to Word, the pasted table is linked to the Excel sheet. You can change values in the table as well.
Now, in the previous method, double-clicking on the table in a Word document opened Excel within that document as an object. In this method, double-clicking on the table will open the linked Excel sheet where you can modify the values based on your needs, and it will be reflected in the table inside the Word document.
Let’s see step by step how it is done.
1. Start by selecting and copying the table from the Excel sheet. Refer back to Step 1 in Method 1 regarding how you can select and copy the table.
2. The game begins here. You can paste the table as a linked document in two ways. For the first way, right-click the mouse button on a blank area in your Word document. Notice the floating bar right above the context menu. In that floating bar, there is a Paste Special option. Click on that. For a different approach, go to the Paste option inside the Clipboard group under the Home ribbon. In the drop-down menu that just opened, click on Paste Special…
3. A new Paste Special window will open. From there, make sure to click on the Paste link: radio button first. Next, select Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object from the list on the right. Finally, click OK.
4. Now you will see your table pasted in your Word document as a linked table. It will look exactly the same as it does in the linked Excel sheet.
This is how it’s done. Now, if you want to know how to change values in your table and make it update itself inside your Word document, keep on reading and follow the next steps.
5. To change anything in your table, double-click on the table in your Word document. This action will pop open the linked Excel worksheet in a separate window.
6. Now you can change values in your table. After you are done, simply press CTRL + S to save the changes within the spreadsheet and close the Excel window.
For a better understanding, we are showing you how it works. We are going to keep both windows side by side. On the left, the Word document with the linked table is visible. On the right is the linked Excel worksheet that was opened by double-clicking on the table inside the Word document.
We are going to change the quantity value of Kayak which currently stands at 2. And the current Total value is 516. On the right, we have changed the quantity value of the Kayak to 10. The change is reflected in the Total quantity with its new total of 524.
Here is the most important part. As you change values inside your Excel worksheet, the value may or may not update automatically inside the Word document. In case it does not update automatically, for it to work, follow the next step.
7. After saving and closing the Excel sheet, go back to the Word document. If your table looks to be updated, there is nothing else to do. However, if you still see the older version of the table with the same values from before you changed them, right-click on the table to bring up the context menu, and then click on the Update Link option. It will instantly update your table to the latest version.
8. After updating the link, notice that your linked table is now showing the updated version of the table.
This is how you do it!
Important Tip: You must keep the linked Excel file preferably in the same folder. If you are to share the Word document file with someone with a linked Excel table in it, you will need to share the Excel file along with it. Otherwise, the table in the Word document will not work.
So, if you are looking to avoid handling multiple files but still want editability, Method 6 is recommended instead since that method embeds the Excel sheet within the Word document.
We have shown you 7 different methods for how to copy tables from Excel to Word. All methods have their proper uses. Which one to use is determined by what type of work you are doing. In this concluding section, we are discussing some factors that may help you decide which one to use at what times.
The first five methods copy tables as static tables. You can manually change the values but will also have to manually change other values that are connected to these values. Meanwhile, the fifth method is truly static because it copies the table as a picture. Only Method 6 and Method 7 allow you to treat your table as a part of the Excel sheet. All the Excel functions and formulas will work despite the table being in a Word document in these two methods.
The size of your table data also determines which method will work best. Method 1 is good for small tables. Method 2, Method 3, and Method 4 will work well irrespective of the size of the table. Method 5 is not good for big data because it is restrictive. Method 6 and Method 7 are great for any size. However, Method 6 is resource-hungry, and therefore, it is better if the table is not too big. And, Method 7 is the best one you can find, hands down.
Now it’s your decision to make. We suggest you learn all the methods, practice now, and use the one needed later on. Your decision should be based on the requirement and the size of the table. You can even apply some tweaks of your own. So, let’s learn these methods and make your life easier!