Here we have some data that is a good candidate for a table. Each row represents an entry or record with information that belongs together. Each column has a unique name. The first step in creating a table is to remove any blank rows or columns. Tables are designed to manage data in one contiguous block of cells. Next, make sure column names are unique.  Then, to create a table, select any cell in the data range and click the Table button on the Insert tab of the ribbon. Excel will display the Create Table dialog. The table range will be selected. In most cases, you’ll want to check the checkbox for headers. When I click OK, Excel creates the table. You can also create a table with a shortcut, Control + T You’ll see the same dialog, and, when you press OK, you’ll get exactly the same result. If you create a Table from data that contains duplicate column names, you won’t get an error, but Excel will rename the columns to make them unique. If you first rename the columns yourself, you won’t have this problem. Once you have a table, the first thing to check is the name. Excel will automatically assign a generic name to new tables, starting with Table1. You’ll see this name in the name box menu. You’ll also see the name on the ribbon, under Table tools > Design. You may want to rename the table to better reflect its purpose, especially if you have more than one table in a workbook. To rename a table, select any cell in the table, and type a new name in the ribbon under Table tools > design The name immediately takes effect. Like named ranges, table names have certain restrictions. Table names can’t contain spaces and most punctuation They can’t begin with a number. They can only begin with a letter, underscore, or backslash Finally, table names can’t conflict with cell references. For example, you can’t name a table “A1” or “Z100”. You can name a table using a single letter, except for the letters “c” and “r”, which are reserved. Finally, names aren’t case sensitive. If I have an existing table called “data” and try to create another table with DATA in uppercase, I get an error. Excel considers both names the same.

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.