Creating a New Table Using the Draw Feature
Open the Insert tab on the Word ribbon, and click on the arrow underneath Table. Select the Draw Table option.
After choosing this option, you’ll be returned to your Word document, and the mouse pointer will now be in the shape of a small pencil. Click and drag the mouse anywhere on the document page to draw a rectangle. This rectangle will be the first cell of your table.
Note that after you draw this first cell, two new tabs, Design and Layout, will appear on the Word ribbon on a larger tab entitled Table Tools. For the moment we are mostly concerned with the tools labeled Draw Table and Eraser that appear on the Design tab.
With the Draw Table tool, you can add additional cells either by drawing another rectangle as you did to create the first cell or by inserting additional lines that divide existing cells.
One great advantage that this method has over the basic table creation options discussed in Part 1 of this series is it gives you greater control over the size and shape of each cell in your table. In fact, this feature even lets you create tables with shapes other than the common rectangular ones that we’re all used to. To create some more interesting shapes, we’ll have to use the Eraser tool.
The Eraser tool allows you to remove a border from a cell in a table without changing the rest of the table. To use this feature, select Eraser from Design tab. This will change your mouse pointer into an object that is supposed to represent one of those white office erasers, but it looks more like a piece of chalk to me. After making this selection, you can erase any of the border lines in your table by clicking on them.
Combining the utility of the Draw Table and Eraser tools opens the door to being able to create a variety of custom tables that are more suited to hold your information. The table in the screenshot above could easily be converted into a step hierarchy table. With these functions, you could also easily construct a process flow chart or other business-related diagram.