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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger miladytn's Avatar
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    Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    I transcribed a lengthy listing of equipment not realizing when I began how complex it would be. My listing has 7 columns, most of which have a 1-line / 1 or 2-word entry in each column. Unfortunately (many unfortunates in this story!) I started with tabs (never will I do that again!). Unfortunately I ended up having one column that became very detailed and many lines long. Again unfortunately I was very far into the list when I realized I should have started with a table. I was under a time crunch so (unfortunately) I continued my transcription. Now my listing is a mess of tabs and line returns. So my question is... is there a "quick and easy" way to convert my mess of tabs to a table? I tried a brief test with a few lines, using "convert text to table", with "separate text at tabs", without much success. With all those tabs and line returns, the entries do not end up under the proper columns.

    As always, your help is much appreciated! I have gained much help and knowledge from these boards. You folks are very knowledgeable and a life (or work) saver! <img src=/S/salute.gif border=0 alt=salute width=15 height=20>
    My favorite flavor of lifesaver is wintergreen... whats yours?

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    Re: Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    Hi miladytn,

    You could try drawing the table, using the 'Draw Table' tool that's available on the 'Tables and Borders' toolbar. Basically, this allows to you 'draw' the table columns and rows over the existing list and convert it to a table with columns and rows between fields wherever you like. The more consistently laid out your list appears, the easier this will be to do (less steps for changing column widths). After that, a find/replace can be used to clear out extraneous tabs, CRs etc.

    Cheers
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    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Re: Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    Hi Macropod

    I've never used this feature. Would it be of benefit to format the selection in a fixed-width font, for the purpose of a better or more consistent columnar layout proir to drawing?

    Alan

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    Re: Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    Hi Alan,

    That really depends on whether doing so would lay the data out more consistently for the table drawing process. If not, nothing's gained.

    Cheers
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    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Re: Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    I guess it might be of value for data in fixed field widths. But even with tab-delimited data, I've seen corresponding tabs within records appear in different horizontal positions on the Word page. This digresses from the original question, but it is possible to get all of those tabs/ tabstops to align themselves consistently by simply selecting all of the text and clicking on the ruler in appropriate positions, with Left Tab stops.

    Alan

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    Re: Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    Hi Alan:
    The trick is to have every paragraph have the same number of tabs. Sometimes, you can accomplish this with Find/Replace. That is usually the case where someone has "lined things up" by pressing the tab &/or spacebar for that purpose.

    If things are sort of lined up, but with a different number of tabs per paragraph, using the Table & Borders toolbar to draw columns will often work better. Klaus Linke described the method in <post#=176778>post 176778</post#>.

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    2 Star Lounger miladytn's Avatar
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    Re: Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    Thanks so much for your help. I tried the draw table idea without much success. I could be wrong but I think my listing is too complex for that. It is 7 pages! However, I like the idea and will keep it in mind for future reference. It would appear that I am in for a fun weekend of "cut and paste". <img src=/S/hairout.gif border=0 alt=hairout width=31 height=23> NEVER NEVER <img src=/S/bash.gif border=0 alt=bash width=35 height=39> NEVER!! again will I start a list with tabs. I don't care if it has only 2 words in it....its going it a table!! <img src=/S/megashout.gif border=0 alt=megashout width=33 height=17>

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    Re: Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    Hi miladytn,

    You might be able to get away with 'tabling' one page at a time. Sure the columns probably won't line up, but that's easily fixed afterwards.

    Cheers
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    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Re: Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    I agree with macropod. You can draw a table around each page of text separately. Then see if it would be advantageous to replace numerous tabs with one (can't tell without really seeing the doc). For this you'd use find replace using wildcards &:
    Find: ^t{x} or find ^t{x,}
    Replace: ^t
    where X is a number.Then you draw column lines down the page. Do this on a copy of the document.

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    If the long column is the last one, some heavy find and replace might be able to reunite it into an extremely long but continuous entry. Then you could try copying and pasting your entire "table" into Excel. Excel sometimes is really good at forcing tabbed content into a tabular structure. If it doesn't like taking it directly from Word as a paste, you could paste into Notepad and save as temp.txt, then use Excel import text file wizard (I forget where this in the menus) and use that to parse it into cells. Then, from Excel, you can select the block of cells and paste into a new Word document, and Word will coerce it into a table.

    If it's not the last column... it gets harder!

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    Re: Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    Phil,

    Doesn't Excel have an option, as part of its import/ parsing, to treat consecutive delimiters as a single delimiter? Maybe this would help with the string-of-tabs problem.

    Alan

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    Re: Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    Hi Alan:
    I'm not an Excel expert, but when I tried copying & pasting and also inserting, I could find a way to treat multiple tabs as only one. If you find a way, I'd be interested.

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    Re: Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    Multiple tabs are not a problem in Word - simply using find/replace can clean that up (search for ^t^t and replace with ^t until no more replacements occur)
    I'm still struggling to understand why a simple clean-up like that cannot be made to do the job

    That is
    Step one - all multi-tabs to one tab
    Step two - convert text to table (delimiters tabs, and row ends)
    Step three final tidy-up

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    Re: Text to Table (Office 2002, XP Pro)

    Hi Andrew:
    I can't answer your last question. That was the original idea. From her first post, I'm guessing that although there are multiple tabs that should be one tab, there are also numerous entries that are blank instead of a tab. But I'm guessing without seeing the document. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>

    Also, if I were replacing multiple tabs with one tab, I'd use wildcards & replace ^t{1,} with ^t.

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