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How to convert a list to a table and vice versa in Word


Converting a list into a table

Word converts a list into a table based on a specific character that logically separates the content in the list. Vertically each logical separation in the list will be a column and each horizontal line will be a row after converting to a table.

So, the trick is to use a separator character logically in the list and let Word know about the separator character while converting.

To explain this point further, let us take the example of the following list. In this, corresponding month is presented with number of days separated by the ampersand (&) symbol. The aim is to create a “4 x 2” (four rows and two column) table.



  1. Select the entire list and then on the Ribbon, under the tab Insert, within the group Tables, click the Table icon. A drop-down list appears.
  1. From the drop-down list, click Convert Text to Table option. The Convert Text to Table dialog box appears.
  1. Insert Number of Columns as 2 (as we have inserted only one separator i.e. &).

Note: In this example, if you insert more than 2 columns, Word will create blank columns after the first two columns containing the month and then number of days. If you enter number of column less than 2, Word will create one row each for month and then for number of days i.e. an “8 x 1” table.

  1. Under the label Separate Text At, select check box Other and enter the “&” character as a separator.
  1. Click OK.

You can use a single tab space as a separator or any other character.

Guys, am not sure how to create complex tables using this feature. Let us share if some of you know any other tricks.

Converting a table to text

Click the table handle to select the entire table (to select hover the mouse over the table or click the table to see the table handle). See below image.

table to list

  1. Once you select the table, the Table Tools tab gets activated. On the Table Tools tab, under the tab Layout, within the group Data, click Convert to Text. The Convert Table to Text dialog box appears.
  2. In the Convert Table to Text dialog box, select the text separator.
  3. Click OK.


  1. Owen says:

    Have just learnt something new- thanks. Has a Word document with
    2 numbered list and wanted to put into a table to that I could add a comments column- done! Brilliant thanks.

  2. says:

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    The clarity in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

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