How to Convert a Microsoft Word Table to Excel: Step-by-Step Guide

Converting a Microsoft Word table to Excel is a straightforward task. Simply select the table in Word, copy it, then paste it into an Excel worksheet. The table will retain its structure and content, allowing you to take advantage of Excel’s data analysis tools.

After completing the action, the data from the Word table will be organized into cells in Excel, ready for manipulation and analysis.


When working with data, the format and tool we use can make a world of difference. Microsoft Word is great for documentation and reports, while Excel shines when it comes to organizing and analyzing data. But what happens when you have a table full of data in Word that would be better suited for Excel? That’s where converting a Word table to Excel comes in handy.

This skill is essential for anyone who needs to work with data across different Microsoft Office applications, such as students working on a research project or professionals preparing a financial report. Understanding how to transfer data seamlessly between these two powerful tools can save time and enhance your productivity.

Step by Step Tutorial

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we will achieve. Following these steps will result in a Word table being accurately transferred into Excel, allowing for more complex data manipulation.

Step 1: Select the Table in Word

Click and drag to select the entire table in your Word document.

Selecting the table is the first crucial step to ensure that all the data you want to transfer is included. Make sure you don’t miss any rows or columns.

Step 2: Copy the Table

Right-click on the selected table and choose ‘Copy’ or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C.

Copying the table is like taking a snapshot of your data before moving it to Excel. Ensure that you’ve selected the entire table to avoid missing any information.

Step 3: Open Excel and Select a Cell

Open an Excel workbook and click on the cell where you want your table to begin.

Choosing the starting cell in Excel determines where your data will be placed. It’s typically best to start at cell A1 to keep things organized.

Step 4: Paste the Table

Right-click on the selected cell in Excel and choose ‘Paste’ or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+V.

Pasting the table into Excel is the final step of the conversion. Your data should now be in cells, just like any other Excel data set.


Data ManipulationExcel is designed for data manipulation, offering tools that Word doesn’t have.
Analysis ToolsExcel has a wide range of data analysis tools, including formulas, charts, and pivot tables.
OrganizationData in Excel is easier to sort, filter, and organize than in a Word table.

When you transfer data from Word to Excel, you can manipulate it using Excel’s powerful data tools. This allows for more in-depth analysis and the ability to uncover insights that may not be visible in a static Word table.

Excel’s analysis tools, such as formulas, charts, and pivot tables, open up a whole new world of possibilities. You can perform calculations, visualize data trends, and summarize information in ways that are simply not possible in Word.

Organizing data in Excel is also more straightforward. With functionality to sort and filter your data, you can quickly find the information you need without sifting through a Word document.


Formatting LossSome table formatting may not transfer over from Word to Excel.
Merged CellsMerged cells in Word can complicate the conversion to Excel.
Manual CorrectionYou may need to manually correct some data after pasting into Excel.

One of the limitations of converting from Word to Excel is that some of the formatting may not carry over. This means you might have to spend extra time reformatting your data in Excel.

Merged cells in Word can create issues when pasted into Excel, as Excel handles merged cells differently. You may need to unmerge and rearrange cells after conversion.

After pasting the table into Excel, there might be some discrepancies that require manual correction. This could involve fixing data entries or adjusting the layout of the pasted table.

Additional Information

While the process of converting a Word table to Excel is pretty straightforward, there are a few additional tips that can make your life easier. For instance, if your table contains formulas, they won’t carry over to Excel. You’ll need to re-enter these manually. If the table is especially large, it might be worth checking for any discrepancies in data that could have occurred during the transfer.

It’s also worth noting that this process works best with simple tables. Complex tables with lots of formatting, different sized cells, or multiple headers could result in a messy Excel sheet. If you’re working with a particularly complex table, you might need to spend some time cleaning up the data once it’s in Excel.

Finally, remember that Excel offers a lot more in terms of data analysis and manipulation. Once you have your data in Excel, you can begin to explore all the additional functionalities that Excel offers over Word.


  1. Select the table in Word.
  2. Copy the table.
  3. Open Excel and select the starting cell.
  4. Paste the table into Excel.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the paste option is grayed out in Excel?

This usually means that Excel doesn’t recognize the data on the clipboard. Try copying the table again in Word and then immediately pasting it into Excel.

Will the text formatting transfer from Word to Excel?

Basic text formatting like bold or italic will transfer, but some elements like text color or cell shading might not.

Can I convert a table from Excel to Word?

Yes, the process is similar. You would copy the table from Excel and paste it into a Word document.

What if my table has images or other non-text elements?

Images and other objects will not transfer cleanly from Word to Excel. You’ll need to add these manually in Excel after pasting the text.

Can I undo the paste if something goes wrong?

Yes, like with any action in Excel, you can press Ctrl+Z to undo the paste if you need to start over.


Learning how to convert a Microsoft Word table to Excel is a handy skill that can streamline your data handling processes. It bridges the gap between word processing and data analysis, empowering you to take full advantage of both tools.

Remember that while the transfer is usually straightforward, there may be times when you need to do a bit of cleaning up in Excel to ensure your data is just right. With this skill in your toolkit, you’ll be better equipped to handle any data challenge that comes your way. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch as your data transforms from a static table into a dynamic spreadsheet!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy