How to Quickly Add Rows and Columns to a Table in Microsoft Word

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Microsoft Word allows you to create neat tables within documents. Once a table is created, there are several easy ways to add more rows or columns, and we’re going to show you how to do just that.

Press Tab to Add Rows

The simplest way to add rows to your table is by placing the cursor in the cell at the bottom-right corner of your table and then pressing Tab on your keyboard.

Select the last cell in the bottom-right corner of your table in Microsoft Word

This will add a new row. Each time you want to add a row, you can select the cell at the bottom right and press Tab again. If you select any other cell and hit Tab, then the cursor will move to the next cell. It’s only in the last cell that a new row gets added automatically.

A new row added to a table in Microsoft Word

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Press Delete to Remove Rows and Columns

You can also delete rows and columns quickly by pressing the Delete key on your keyboard. First, you need to select a row or column. The quickest way to select a row is to click the area right outside the first cell on the left. You’ll notice that your mouse pointer has been flipped.

The inverted mouse pointer in Microsoft Word that indicates that you can select an entire row

When you see the flipped pointer, you can click to select the entire row. Now, press Delete on your keyboard to get rid of the entire row.

A Microsoft Word table with one deleted row

To select a column, move your mouse pointer above the first cell of any column. The pointer will change to a down arrow symbol. Now, click to select the entire column.

Hit Delete on your keyboard to delete the column.

A Microsoft Word table with one deleted column

Use the Ribbon Menu to Add Rows or Columns

If you have a table in your Word document, the ribbon menu allows you to see some additional options to add rows and columns. You can access these options using the Layout tab in the ribbon menu up top. The only confusing part is that there are two tabs named Layout in the menu bar for some reason. You need to select the “Layout” tab on the right—the one next to Table Design.

Select the Layout tab next to Table Design in Microsoft Word

Once you’ve selected this, you will find several table-related options here. We’ll focus on the “Rows & Columns” sub-head here since our goal is to add rows and columns.

The Rows & Columns part of the Layout tab lets you add rows and columns to Microsoft Word tables

If you want to insert a row above the cell that you’ve selected in your Microsoft Word table, click “Insert Above.” To add a row below the cell that you’ve selected, click “Insert Below.”

You can also add columns quickly using the buttons given here. “Insert Right” will add a column to the right of the cell. Similarly, “Insert Left” will add a column to the left of the selected cell.

You can also click the arrow icon that’s to the right of the “Rows & Columns” sub-head to reveal a few more options.

Here, you can click “Insert entire row” or “Insert entire column” to add rows or columns.

Click Insert entire row or Insert entire column to add rows or columns to Microsoft Word tables

Delete Rows and Columns Using the Ribbon Menu

Microsoft Word also allows you to delete rows and columns using the same ribbon menu. Click the “Layout” tab next to Table Design.

Select the Layout tab next to Table Design in Microsoft Word

Now, go to the “Rows & Columns” sub-head. Click “Delete” to reveal the options to remove rows and columns.

Click Delete Columns or Delete Rows to get rid of columns and rows from Microsoft Word tables

Select “Delete Columns” to remove the columns that you’ve selected in your Word table. Alternatively, you can click “Delete Rows” to remove the selected rows from your table.

Add Rows and Columns Using the Context Menu

Another quick way to add rows and columns involves revealing the context menu in Microsoft Word tables. To do this, select any cell, column, or row, and press the right-click button on your mouse and select “Insert.”

Right-click in any cell and select Insert

You can select “Insert Columns to the Left” or “Insert Columns to the Right” to add columns to the left or right side of the cell that you’ve selected.

You can select the Insert Column options to add columns to a table in Microsoft Word

Alternatively, you can click “Insert Rows Above” or “Insert Rows Below” to add rows above or below the selected cell in your table.

You can select the Insert Row options to add rows to a table in Microsoft Word

You will also find similar options in the “Insert” button that’s in the menu with the font selection options, which is also revealed after you right-click a cell.

The Insert drop-down menu that lets you add rows or columns in tables in Microsoft Word

Use the Context Menu to Remove Rows and Columns

Removing rows and columns is pretty straightforward using the context menu. The simpler method is to right-click inside any cell and then click the “Delete” menu in the box at the top (the one with the font customization options).

Click Delete to reveal the options to remove rows and columns from Microsoft Word tables

Here, you can click “Delete Rows” or “Delete Columns” to delete rows or columns from your table.

Delete Columns lets you remove columns from a table, and Delete Rows lets you get rid of rows from Microsoft Word tables

Alternatively, you can select a row or a column in your table and then hit the right-click button on your mouse. Now, click “Delete Columns” to remove the selected columns. This option will be called “Delete Rows” if you’ve selected one or multiple rows.

Click Delete Columns to remove selected columns from Microsoft Word tables


If you found this article useful, you’ll definitely have a lot of fun nesting a table within another table in Word.

RELATED: How to Nest a Table Within a Table in Word