How to go from Excel's normal range to a table and back again
This article explores how to quickly apply the selected or default table style to a range of cells, as well as how to reverse the process to return the range to its original form.
One of the most helpful features of Excel is the table, which speeds up tasks like calculations and data updates. However, a table format may not be ideal in some cases. Fortunately, there's a simple way to convert a table into a normal range without sacrificing any of the information within it. And when you need a table, you can convert a range of cells into one quickly and easily.
Comparison of an Excel table to distance vs. distance vs. range: what's the difference
There is a great deal of misunderstanding and uncertainty among Excel users, especially newcomers, regarding the definitions of range and table. Can you already refer to your dataset as a table after entering data into a worksheet? Multiple individuals regularly engage in this practice. However, Excel treats it as a range rather than a table. And so, I ask, what exactly is the distinction
The term "range" in Excel refers to a collection of selected cells. The top-left cell and the bottom-right cell provide the frame of reference for this structure. In the left side of the image below, for instance, the data is located in cells A1:C6.
Tables in Excel are named ranges of cells that are dynamic and pre-formatted. A table can be thought of as an enhanced version of a range, with additional features like calculated columns, banded rows, built-in sorting and filtering, and so on. Adding new information to a dynamic table causes it to grow on its own, hence the name.
A table's data is always surrounded by a thin border, as shown in the right-hand part of the following image, so it's easy to spot in an Excel worksheet. The column headings stay fixed at the top of the screen as you scroll, and auto-filter arrows appear next to them.
Excel Table: In-Depth Guide with Examples for More Details.
To what end would one want to transform a range into a table in Excel?
By converting a selection of cells into a table, Excel gains a host of powerful new features that can elevate your spreadsheets to the next level.
In Excel, what does it mean to "convert table to range"?
When using Microsoft Excel, you can quickly return a table to a more typical range. Doing so will disable all table functionality while preserving the format of tables. Read on for specific instructions on how to achieve your goal!
Tutorial on changing an Excel table into a range.
Right-clicking a cell in the table and selecting Table > Convert to Range is the quickest way to make the table look like a regular range.
The ribbon can be used to accomplish the same result:
- By clicking on any table cell, you can access the Table Design menu.
- Table Design > Tools > Convert to Range
In either case, Excel will show you a confirmation window asking you to verify your selection:
As soon as you select Yes, the table's cells will return to their standard arrangement:
Note By using this technique, an Excel table loses its unique characteristics like automatic expansion, structured references, filter buttons, etc., and becomes a standard range. However, formatting in the table style, including fill and font colors, borders, and so on, is preserved. Remove table formatting before converting the table to a range if you don't want it.
Creating a table from a range of data
Using one of these methods, you can transform your existing data into a full-fledged table and take advantage of Excel's many powerful table-based features.
Excel table conversion from a range
The quickest method for transforming a data range into a table is as follows:
- Make a selection in any dataset cell and hit the Ctrl T lock and key
- A dialogue box labeled Create Table will appear. Make sure the My table has headers box is checked (deselect it if your dataset does not have headers) and click OK to see if Excel correctly identified your data range.
That's it Immediate table formatting is applied to the selected range:
Tip This procedure generates a table in the standard format. Choose a new look for your tables at any time by visiting the Table Styles gallery. See How to Alter Table Format in Excel for Details.
Alternative method of creating a table from a range
In Excel, the ribbon is often the only way to access a command that can also be executed with a keyboard shortcut. One more approach to making a table in Excel is as follows:
- Choose a single cell or an entire dataset to analyze.
- Select Table in the Tables submenu of the Insert tab.
- Verify the range selection, toggle the My table has headers box and click OK in the resulting Create Table dialog box.
Tip This method, like the one before it, generates a table in the format specified by the user. Use the bellow method to decide which presentation style to use for your table.
Transform the selected cells into a table format using the table style.
Here's how to convert a selection to a table in the format of your choice:
- Take your pick of any cell in the spreadsheet.
- Select Format as Table from the Home tab's Styles group.
- Select the perfect dining room table from our gallery.
- Before clicking OK on the Create Table dialogue box, double-check that the correct range was selected and that the My table has headers box was checked.
The result is a table in the format you select, containing the data from the range you selected.
Tip The inbuilt table style can be applied by right-clicking the style in the gallery and selecting Apply and Clear Formatting if you do not want to lose any custom cell formatting from your dataset. By clicking this button, you can clear the range of any formatting and apply a new table style.
That's how you go from an Excel table to a regular cell range and back again. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and hope to see you again next week on our blog.
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