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Working with Tables

In a table, what is the alignment?Celeste Stewart

Tables as a Design Element

Whether you're working with tables in Microsoft Word, Excel, or even a Web page, the table's layout is a key design consideration. In fact, many Web pages are plotted out in tables rather than one solid block where the text and images fall wherever they may. Tables, which are like configurable grids, allow the designer to accurately place each of the elements on the page and control its alignment. Without tables, text, photos, and other elements are harder to control.

Using Tables to Align Text or Numbers

Just as you can center, justify, indent, align, and manipulate text in a regular document, so too can you do the same in tables. For example, if you were to create a table in Microsoft Word and wanted all of your text in column 1 aligned left, you would simply enter your text, highlight the column and then click the left alignment icon in Word's toolbar. This works for single cells, columns, and rows.

In addition, you can align the entire column within your page through the Table Properties dialog box. Go into Table Properties by right-clicking the small table symbol (it looks like a plus sign) and choosing Table Properties. Once inside this dialog box, choose the alignment that meets your needs.

In Excel, the entire workbook is like one giant table. To adjust the alignment, simply highlight the cells that you want to align and then click the desired alignment icon on the toolbar. Excel offers even more table alignment options. For example, if you to Tools >Format Cells (or click the Alignment icon in the Home tab of Excel 2007) and then go to the Alignment tab, you can choose from both horizontal and vertical alignment types as well as rotate the text 180 degrees.

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