Microsoft Excel’s FORMAT AS TABLE feature places common list commands at your fingertips and automates many Excel list features for you.

Think about it for a moment… What are some Excel features you use when working with a list of records.

To help you out, here are a few of the more common features used on a list of records.

  • Sorting
  • Filtering
  • Calculations
  • Formatting (Have you ever manually formatted every other row in a list)
  • Changing the size of your list (Add/Deleting records)
    • What does that do to anything using that list as a source? (PivotTable)

These are just a few features that are used on an Excel list. Each of the above serve as separate features in Excel. But, by taking your list of records and formatting the list as a table, Excel will automate many of the features for you.

FORMAT AS TABLE

In order to format a list as a table…

  • Click into your list. Doesn’t matter where, just as long as you are in the list.
  • Go to the HOME TAB — STYLES —  FORMAT AS TABLE

  • Pick your favorite color

  • Excel will find your data, confirm the correct range is select and if your data has headers make sure your check the box for headers

  • Your Excel list will now be formatted and a new TAB will appear at the top of your screen, TABLE TOOLS — DESIGN

The new TABLE TOOLS — DESIGN tab offers you many different features at your fingertips to manage your list. I circled a few of my favorites.

  • TABLE NAME: The table name can be used in place of cell references.
  • INSERT SLICER: This is a new feature to Excel 2013 and newer. A slicer is an interactive, dashboard type filter that you can apply to your lists.
  • TOTAL ROW: Add a new row at the bottom of your list to calculate column data.

Download this file and try it out for yourself: FORMATTABLE-01

Check the video below for a quick introduction to FORMAT AS TABLE. Also, for this an more tips check out this post here.