Inserting Tables Using the Keyboard

This post describes a little trick that lets you insert a table into RichEdit and into Word just using the keyboard. Admittedly in Word, you can use the handy table tool on the Insert tab with a mouse or with a keyboard. But in WordPad and the Windows RT RichEditBox, you don’t have a table tool.

So here’s the trick: on a line of its own type a plus (+) followed by as many dashes (-) as needed for the width of the first cell, followed by a plus to end that cell. If you only want a one column table, just hit the Enter key and you have a one cell table. To have more cells in the row, type more dashes and pluses, being sure to end the line with a plus. For example, hitting the Enter key at the end of the line


inserts the table row




When you have as many cells as you want, to get another row, put the insertion point at the end of the row and hit the Enter key. Alternatively put the insertion point in the last cell and hit the Tab key. If the insertion point isn’t in the last cell of the table, a Tab advances to the next cell and a Shift+Tab backs up to the previous cell. When the insertion point is in the last cell of a table, the Tab key inserts another row. So pretty quickly you can enter a simple table with arbitrary numbers of cells, rows, and cell sizes. You can use the mouse to change the width of the columns.

You can also change the alignment of a table by selecting the whole table including the end of row marks and hitting ctrl+e or ctrl+r for centering and right-justifying the table, respectively. Ctrl+L left justifies the table. In Word there are a number of other cool tools such as the one to autofit the contents of a table (select the table, right-mouse click on it and choose the Autofit option).