Adding Tables, Shapes and Charts to Word 2010

October 14, 2010, By Christian Cawley

As well as inserting files and images into Microsoft Word 2010, you can insert a wealth of other visual enhancements.

Whether you want to illustrate a process flow with shapes or provide a graphical enhancement with SmartArt, Word 2010 offers more options than any other version.

Previous functions have been updated meanwhile, and you can still insert Excel charts and tables into Word. Combining your sales report with an impressive visual graph makes for a far more striking document than a sales report with the figures simply listed in a table!

Let’s take a look at how you can use tables, charts, shapes and SmartArt in a Microsoft Word 2010 document.

Insert Excel Tables and Charts

Inserting tables and charts into a Word document from Excel is simple using the Insert tab.

Simply position your mouse where you wish the table to be, left click the mouse, and then go to the Table tool on the Insert tab.

Here you will see the Excel Spreadsheet option which allows you to create a spreadsheet table within your Word document – even the menu at the top of the screen changes to allow you to use Excel functions!

Also in the Table tool, you can create a table by selecting its dimensions from a small grid – and the Table functions don’t stop there! You can also:

Insert table… – this allows you to specify dimensions for a table

Draw table – use drawing tools to create a table by hand

Convert text to table – select some text and form it into a table of cells, useful for creating small textual illustrations

Quick Tables – this allows you to insert preformatted tables.

Meanwhile, with the Chart tool you can insert a range of graphical options to represent any data you want to include in your document.

This tool again displays the integration that is possible between Microsoft Excel and Word, and allows you to insert Excel data in pie chart, line graph, bar graph and many other graphical data options. By selecting the Chart tool, you are immediately given the option of the type of graph or chart you would like to insert. The real beauty of this feature however is how Microsoft Excel immediately launches in order for you to edit the figures you wish to represent in the chart. This is a very powerful feature that can provide excellent results!

Shapes and SmartArt in Word 2010

Lines, block arrows and other illustrative shapes can be inserted into Word 2010 documents, allowing for the creation of process charts and other graphics. These are vector-based images that can be resized and scaled as needed.

Finally, Word 2010 features other options in the Insert tab, notably for the addition of Shapes and SmartArt to your document

SmartArt is a new feature that allows you to insert graphical lists and processes, from basic options to more complicated Venn diagrams. You can see the selection available by clicking on the SmartArt button in the Illustrations section of the Insert tab, and once inserted a variety of formatting options are available via the SmartArt Tools, which are only available when you click into your SmartArt. This illustrative function gives excellent, polished results.

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