Word: Convert Text to Table, or Table to Text… in 3 Clicks

There are a variety of reasons you may need to move text into (or out of) a table in Word. Sometimes you inherited a document with an odd layout, or you exported from another source, and  for whatever reason the text just looks odd. You could insert a table and copy and paste for half an hour, or you could do this little trick.


Comma delimited list transformed into a table

Starting Place: Comma (or Tab) Delimited Values

In my case, my starting values are separated by commas. This is common for a lot of text exported from other sources. But you may also run into documents that export with other delimiters, like tabs, paragraphs, semi colons, etc. Those can all be addressed.

Comma delimited list

Convert Text to Table

I am going to use the example of the comma separated values above.

1. Highlight the block of text.

2. Go to the Insert tab and select the Table dropdown. Select Convert Text to Table…

Insert tab, Table dropdown, Convert Text to Table

3. Word will guess the delimiter. In my case, Word has caught on that the values are separated by commas. Note you could change the delimiter under the Separate text at section, if Word does not pick up on it automatically.

COnvert Text to Table menu

4. Press OK and a simple table will be created with the text values you highlighted.

Simple table

Don’t forget… you have a lot of options for styles and formatting in the Table Design and Layout tabs.

Make sure you have clicked onto your table for these to appear, as they are contextual tabs.

Table Design and Layout contextual tabs

I always go for green for some reason…Table with green formatting

Convert Table to Text

Sometimes the inverse is true… you have inherited a document with a table and you need it to be converted to text. This can happen when you are trying to meet accessibility standards, or when an old table formatting just doesn’t behave well in modern versions of Office.

1. Click into your table to activate the Table Design and Layout contextual tabs.

2. Select the Layout contextual tab.

3. In the Data group, select Convert to Text.

Layout tab, data group, Convert to text button

4. You will have the option to choose how to separate your text at the existing cells. I chose Tabs for mine, but I may sometimes select Commas when I want to export as a comma separated value (CSV) file.

Convert table menu

5. The table is now a list of tab separated values, ready for you to work with outside of table formatting.List of tab separated values


What do you think, will this save you some headaches in your Word documents? I would love to hear from you!

Congratulations, Power Users!

Congratulations to our newest Power Users! For the full gallery, and more information about the WSU Microsoft Office Power User Program, please visit: wichita.edu/poweruser

  • Denise Gimlin
  • Kelly Gurik
  • Debra Haslam
  • Alma Hidalgo
  • Angie Myrtle
  • Denise Northup
  • Tisha Whitehead

PowerPoint Feature Showcase Live Recording: Academic Resources Conference

Did you miss the PowerPoint Feature Showcase at the Academic Resources Conference on Wednesday? No problem… the session was recorded! This quick conference presentation is packed with power, showing off some new features and revealing some secrets you might now have known about this program.

Check out the recording from the live virtual event below. For the guide and exercises, please visit wichita.edu/arcms.


PowerPoint: Extract All Media with One Action

There are a variety of reasons that you may find yourself needing to extract all the media content (video, audio, pictures) from a PowerPoint presentation. This process can be especially cumbersome if you have a large presentation, where saving video from slides one at a time is a daunting prospect. Here is a cool hack if you find yourself in this position. By the way, this trick will extract pretty much all content, so even if you aren’t looking for media perse, you will find this interesting. Before we jump in, thank you to Taylor for having this question in PowerPoint Advanced training last week and inspiring this byte.

Media File

File Name Extensions

First thing’s first! This trick will be a lot easier if you have your file extensions visible. If they are not already (or if you are not sure), here is what you can do:

1. Open up any folder, or visit your File Explorer in your task bar.

2. Click in the View button at the top. This will pop out the ribbon in File Explorer (yes, there is a ribbon in here! I want to do a byte on this too!)

View Tab

3. In the Show/Hide group in the View tab, make sure that the box next to File name extensions is checked.

File name extensions

Duplicate File (optional)

This is optional, but we will be changing the file extension next… so if this is your first time and this is an important PowerPoint presentation, I would recommend duplicating it so you have an original version in case something goes awry.

Changing File Extensions

Here is the PowerPoint file, with some media attached. Now that we have turned extensions on, you can see the extension is .pptx.

PPT on desktop

If you are working with an older file, the extension may read as .ppt. If this is the case, you will need to resave it as the file type Powerpoint Presentation to bring it up to date (more about this here).

1. Click on top of the name of your file to highlight it, or right click and select rename.  Instead of renaming the file, however, we are going to change the extension.

2. At the end of the title, change the extension from .pptx to:  .pptx.zip

It will look like this:

Change extension to pptx.zip

3. Press Enter. You will receive a warning message. Click Yes.

Warning message

Note: You can always change the file extension back to .pptx the same way.

New File Appearance and Behavior

The appearance of the file changes. At initial glance, it looks like a normal zip file.

New extension with folder appearance

Double click on it, however, and you will find a variety of folders. Select ppt.

New folder for presentation with folders inside

Here are the “guts” of your Powerpoint…  including a file called media.

More folders, media folder circled

Inside the Media file are all the images and videos, including any slideshow recordings you have made that are tied in to your PowerPoint.

Media folder

Who knew it would be so easy to extract all this information?


What do you think, will this help you with any of your projects, or did you find it interesting to see the “guts” of your PowerPoint presentation?

Congratulations, Power Users!

Congratulations to our newest Power Users! For the full gallery, and more information about the WSU Microsoft Office Power User Program, please visit: wichita.edu/poweruser