Modify Tables

Learning Outcomes

  • Modify tables in slides

There are times when a PowerPoint table needs modification after information or data is entered. Here is how to modify various parts of a PowerPoint table.

Open a slide with a table, click on the table and the Layout tab appears. After selecting the Layout tab there are options available to modify rows, columns, merge cells, change cell size, modify the alignment, the table size and arrange the table position. Here is how to modify a table with those various options.

PowerPoint screenshot table Layout  tab.


Many of the actions that can be done using the buttons in the ribbon can also be found if a table is selected and the right mouse button clicked.

Rows & Columns

A table might need an additional row or column or to eliminate rows or columns.

  1. Delete: Highlight the row/column to be eliminated, select the Delete button down arrow in the Rows & Columns group and select the correct delete option (column or row).
    PowerPoint screenshot table Layout  tab with table delete drop-down menu options.
  2. Insert: Highlight a row or column, select either the Insert Above, Insert below, Insert Left, or Insert Right button to add in a new row or column
    PowerPoint screenshot table Layout  tab, Rows & Columns group, table insert options.


Highlight the cell, row, or column to be modified and select either the Merge Cells or Split Cells button to merge or split cells.
PowerPoint screenshot table Layout  tab, Merge group, merge or split cell options.

Distribute Rows/Columns

Select the rows or columns and select either the Distribute Rows or Distribute Columns button to modify the spacing of the rows/columns for a table.
PowerPoint screenshot table Layout  tab, Cell size group, cell sizing options.

Text Alignment

Highlight a cell, row or column with the desired text for alignment and select the desired type of alignment using one of the alignment options. In this example, column titles are now left aligned and centered in the column cells
PowerPoint screenshot table Layout tab, Merge group, Alignment group options.


Tables act like objects in PowerPoint like a picture or drawn shape. Because of this a table can be brought forward, backward or aligned within a slide. To do this, used the options in the Arrange group in Layout tab to modify the table alignment in a slide.
PowerPoint screenshot table Layout tab, Merge group, Arrange group options.

Practice Questions

Note: Excel Tables

Excel tables in PowerPoint act differently than PowerPoint created tables in a slide.

  • If an Excel table is clicked on once the Shape Format tab appears and its options can be modified as an object or shape.
  • To modify an Excel table‚Äôs data, format, etc., double click on the table and it will open Excel within PowerPoint. At this point the format, data or any other modifications can be accomplished through Excel program options.

PowerPoint is very flexible with its ability to modify tables in many ways. These new skills to modify a PowerPoint table will help elevate your PowerPoint presentation style.