A lot of folks just assume that tabular form refers to a template or a specific feature in Word. The actual meaning though is to present information in rows and columns instead of paragraphs and to break down your data into a layout that is easily scanned. Unless you have locked your Word document, anyone who has access to it can update or edit your information in a tabular form quite easily. You can use the tabular form for surveys and questions in one column and possible answers or blank spaces in another column, statistical data, schedules, technical specifications, and/or study and experiment results.
As you know, Word offers two basic options for inserting tables in y our documents, which are Grid and Table Insert. To create a table from scratch using the grid, you must position your pointer on your document where you want to insert the table before clicking on Insert | Table, which will open a drop-down menu. Moving your cursor horizontally and vertically across the grid boxes will allow you to add up to 10 columns and 8 rows to your document.
Word also offers an option to create different sizes of columns and rows in a table with drawing tools. To use these tools in your document, you can click Insert | Table before selecting Draw Table to change your pointer to a pencil. Clicking and dragging the pencil right and down on the document creates the border of a table. Afterward, drawing horizontal lines will make rows and vertical lines will create columns. When you are finished, clicking Design | Draw Table will change the pencil back into your pointer.
The Convert Text to Table option will allow you to take text already contained in your document and convert it to tabular form. To use this option, you will have to insert tabs or a mark such as a comma at the points on each line of your text where you want Word to automatically divide it into columns. Survey data for example may be divided as follows: Name, Address, Occupation, and Age to create four columns, with each word as the header for your column. When you have finished, you need to highlight your text before clicking Insert, Table |Convert Text To Table. once you have selected a table size, autofit behavior, and the method you used to separate the text, clicking OK will convert your text into table format.
Once your data is in tabular form, you can edit it using the Design and Layout tabs. Those options will include adding or deleting rows and columns, changing the colors of cells, rows, or columns, merging or splitting cells, or splitting one table into two tables. If you did not know, to merge cells together, you will need to highlight the cells in the top row, and click Layout | Merge Cells. You can erase a line in Draw Table mode to remove a column or row by clicking Design | Eraser and then the vertical or horizontal line you want to remove.