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How to Quickly Make, Add, & Format Tables in Google Slides

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Read Time: 10 min

Google Slides has many features that help you present information in new and creative ways. One of these features is a Google Slides table. Tables arrange data into rows and columns for easy viewing.

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You'll learn how to make a table on Google Slides for easy data organization.

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to make a table on Google Slides. That helps you present data in a way that's easy for your viewer to scan and read. We'll cover Google Slides table formatting and so much more. Let's jump in.

Why You Should Use Google Slides Tables

Google Slides is a powerful online app for creating and sharing presentations. It works inside your web browser, so you don’t have to have software installed. The online platform makes it easy to collaborate with others and share your work with the world.

When we think of tables, often numbers are the first things that come to mind. And of course, this is a very common type of table. But with Google Slides table formatting, you can add text or numbers to a custom table - fast!

Working in Google Slides table formattingWorking in Google Slides table formattingWorking in Google Slides table formatting
Using tables to format data is a stylish way to present in 2023 with Google Slides. (Image generated with Placeit.)

But before we learn how to make a table on Google Slides, we should ask “why?” Why should we use tables on our Google Slides layouts? What are the advantages of grouping data into tables?

Consider the goal of your Slides presentations. You’re working to inform or persuade an audience about a given topic. You want to build knowledge and inspire action. Thus, it’s key to have clear, easy-to-read slide layouts.

Tables help you do just that. Avoid cluttering up slides with paragraphs of information. It’s better to group data into a sleek table design with rows and columns.

That’s only the first benefit. Here are other reasons I love to use tables in Google Slides:

  • Rows and columns help classify data. Generally, table layouts help you group items into categories. For example, a table might list sales by model (in columns) by year (in rows).
  • Tables are stylish. They’re easy to customize with new colors, shading, and backgrounds.
  • They can show more with less space. Table layouts in Google Slides pack data onto each page, without getting messy.

It’s easy to see that Google Slides table designs are your best friend in 2023. Now, let’s dive in and learn how to make a table on Google Slides!

How to Add a New Table to Google Slides

We’ve explored the benefits of using Google Slides table layouts. Now, let’s learn how to add a table in Google Slides, using just a few quick steps. 

The best way to begin is with a premium Google Slides template from Envato Elements. With thousands of designs to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect option. The Elements offer is powerful: join for a flat monthly rate and enjoy unlimited downloads. It’s the best creative value in 2023 and beyond. Join now and start downloading.

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Download the premium Archive Google Slides template now to follow along with our tutorial.

For this tutorial, we’ll use the beautiful Archive - Google Slide Presentation Template from Envato Elements. With over 30 slides inside, it’s easy to adapt for any project’s needs.

With the template open in Google Slides, navigate to a slide where you want to insert a table. Remember, you can do this on any slide in any presentation. When combined with Slides’ built-in features, premium templates offer unmatched flexibility.

How to Choose a Google Slides Table Layout

Before we look at how to add a table in Google Slides, consider the data that you need to share. Is it numerical, or text-based? The trick to success with Google Slides tables is to choose a table layout that best fits your data. 

For example, let’s return to our earlier idea. Our dataset includes annual sales numbers for four different products. We’ll call them Widget 1, 2, 3, and 4. It includes five years of data. Think for a moment of how best to explore this through a table design. There are really two options. Products can go in rows, and years can go in columns. Or, this can be reversed, with years in rows and products in columns. 

Let's go with the later, with rows for our products. But keep in mind, years and dollar values have little meaning without context. We need to be sure to include headers in our table. A header is where the first row in a table has titles or labels to explain the data below. That means we need to insert a six row, five column table.

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Add a table to any Google Slides deck by going to Insert > Table.

Now, let’s get to work. To add a table in Google Slides, navigate to the Insert menu. You’ll find it on the upper left of your screen in the Slides menu bar. Click it, and you’ll see a list of options appear. The one you need is Table. Hover over it.

You’ll see a sidebar appear with small square thumbnails. This lets you customize the number of rows and columns that you need for your table. To do that, simply move your cursor and watch as gray squares shade in blue. 

At the bottom, you’ll see text display, showing the number of columns and rows in your table. By default, tables default to 1x1. Here, we wanted 5x6. Drag your cursor and click when you’ve specified the right dimensions. 

Select the dimensions for your table by moving your cursor across the gray squares. Select the dimensions for your table by moving your cursor across the gray squares. Select the dimensions for your table by moving your cursor across the gray squares.
Select the dimensions for your table by moving your cursor across the gray squares.

When you click, Google Slides will insert the table automatically. Now, you’ll see it displayed right on your slide! A Google Slides table is editable just like any other design element.

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Add data to your table to present it in style, by clicking and typing into the cells.

From here, you can add data to the table by clicking into any cell and typing with your keyboard. Easily jump from cell to cell using the Tab key. Or you can paste in data from another source to save time.

How to Update Tables in Google Slides

With a table layout built in Google Slides, you’ve presented data in a creative, concise way. Every audience will appreciate your design prowess and clarity. And as you saw, the process of how to add a table in Google Slides was quick and easy.

But now imagine that you have your table built out and need to make a change. Perhaps you have too many rows and want to remove some data. Deleting the contents of table cells won’t remove the cells, so you’ll be left with blank boxes that take up space. 

Or, you may want to add data! In this case, you might want to update your slide each year with new sales data. But you don’t need to make a new table from scratch.

Let’s learn how to update tables. To do this, click into any cell in the last (right-most) column in the table. Then, right-click.

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Right-click and browse the many options to add or delete rows and columns.

You’ll see a menu launch with many options. Near the top, you’ll see the four table Insert commands available in Google Slides:

  • Insert Row Above
  • Insert Row Below
  • Insert Column Left
  • Insert Column Right

You can click on any of these, and your table will gain a new column or row. In this case, for our new product, you could choose Insert Column Right. Then, you would simply fill in your new data as needed.

Now, let’s delete a row. Again, click into any cell in the row you want to delete. You don’t have to worry about deleting the data first. Remember: deleting data from a table won’t delete a row. But deleting the row will delete the data.

Right-click again and choose Delete Row. You’ll see it disappear. Similar to before, there are options here to delete columns as well. Or you can even choose to delete the entire table!

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Deleting rows can streamline tables quickly.

When you update tables like this in Google Slides, you can ensure that your tables always perfectly fit your dataset. This helps you scale designs even as the data that you’re sharing evolves and changes. 

How to Format Tables in Google Slides

Formatting a Google Slides table helps you create stylish and readable layouts every day. Without Google Slides table formatting, design can seem flat and boring. Plus, row and column headers won’t stand out. But with a few clicks, you can easily format your tables.

To begin, let’s ensure that headers are in bold. This helps them be instantly recognizable. To begin, click and drag your cursor to select the contents of row 1 in the table. Then, with the text selected, go up to the menu bar. In the Font section, click Bold. You’ll see the text transform.

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Click and drag text, then click Bold to make it stand out.

Next, repeat this step with the contents of column 1 (the years). Select the years that aren’t already in bold by clicking and dragging, then click Bold again. Just like before, you’ll see them convert.

Now, it’s often a good idea to change the alignment of text in a Google Slides table design layout. This is especially true with numerical data, which often looks best centered. By centering text, you create a visually appealing layout that looks and feels consistent throughout.

To center text in a table, begin by clicking and dragging to select the full contents of your Google Slides table. Then, find the Align button on the menu bar. It’s near the right side.

Click on its drop-down arrow and browse your choices. Here, you want to select Center. When you click Center, the text and numbers in the table will jump to the exact center of their individual cells. 

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Use the Align menu on Google Slides to control how text and numbers fit into your table.

Last but not least, it helps to add color shading to your table. This essentially adds contrast, which is a design technique meant to aid readability. Let’s start by making the first header row a different color. To do this, repeat the step we’ve been doing of selecting the entire row by clicking and dragging.

Return to the menu bar, this time finding the Fill Color button. It looks like a miniature paint bucket. Choosing Fill Color, you’ll see a color palette menu launch. On it are many thumbnails with a plethora of colors. Click on any of the thumbnails, and you’ll see the row fill in with a fun, attractive new color. 

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Adding shading to tables helps specific rows, columns, and cells stand out through the creative use of contrast.

That's it! Styles and all, your Google Slides table is complete. Spend this extra time on Google Slides tale formatting for a totally branded feel.

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Now You Know How to Add a Table in Google Slides

You just learned how to add a table in Google Slides. Now, you've seen that data is easy to present when you use a Google Slides table. Plus, you learned Google Slides table formatting for even more style.

Now, it's your turn. Go practice how to make a table on Google Slides! Take an existing presentation and upgrade it with a table. You’ll soon be creating easy-to-understand and data rich presentations.

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