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Chapter 14. Using Tables > Using Tables to Organize Information

Using Tables to Organize Information

Most people think of Word tables as a repository for rows and columns of numbers. In fact, Word has few tools for working with numbers—and the tools that exist are error-prone and sometimes buggy. If you want to do any sort of arithmetic on rows or columns of numbers—anything more complex than an occasional sum or product on a small handful of data—you're far better off working in Excel, even if you have to learn Excel to do it. An embedded or linked Excel table (page 149) inside a Word document will give you a lot more peace of mind, if your primary concern is performing calculations.

In addition to the obvious uses for tables to organize and present tabular data, Word tables are perfect for placing and organizing items (words, numbers, pictures) on a page. In Figure 14.1, it may be obvious to you that the list of paid holidays should fall in a table—after all, each cell has a line around it and the data is classically tabular. But it may not be so obvious that a table provides a simple way to organize the top lines of the memo, as well.


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