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Ungroup a Table in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to ungroup a table in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8

Tables are essentially a group of cells arranged in a proper way. So typically you would expect that ungrouping a table into individual cells should be a piece of cake, right? Nothing can be further from that! Before we explore ways to ungroup a table, let us understand why you would want to ungroup a table in the first place. One of the main reasons why you may consider ungrouping a Table within PowerPoint is to animate it segment by segment. In all PowerPoint versions, either the entire table can be animated -- or nothing! The workaround is to ungroup the table so that your table gets converted into a bunch of individual shapes, and you can animate every individual shape as you want. So let us look at some ideas to understand ungrouping Tables better.

Look at Figure 1 which includes a Table in PowerPoint 2013. Carefully right-click the table and the resultant menu shows the Group option greyed out (highlighted in red).
Group option greyed out for the Table in PowerPoint 2013
Figure 1: Group option greyed out for the Table in PowerPoint 2013

To successfully ungroup, we will take an unconventional approach. However, in this process, even the lines within the table will get converted to individual shapes. So, make sure to apply a Table Style that includes as fewer lines as possible, or doesn't include any line. Thereafter, follow these steps to ungroup a table in PowerPoint 2013:

  1. Make a backup copy of the table that you want to ungroup (or just duplicate the slide that contains the table). This is highly recommended because after ungrouping, the table will no longer be editable in its tabular form.

  2. Select the table and right-click to access a contextual menu shown in Figure 2. Within in menu, select either the Cut or Copy options.

    Cut option selected
    Figure 2: Cut option selected

  3. Possibly add a new slide. Then select the Home tab of the Ribbon, click the small down-arrow beneath the Paste button, and choose the Paste Special option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.

    Paste Special option
    Figure 3: Paste Special option

  4. This brings up the Paste Special dialog box that you can see in Figure 4. Scroll down the options until you find Picture (Enhanced Metafile) option -- select this option and click the OK button.

    Paste Special dialog box
    Figure 4: Paste Special dialog box

  5. PowerPoint will place an instance of the table which is now converted into a graphic, right in the center of the slide as shown in Figure 5 -- reposition as required.
    Table converted into a graphic
    Figure 5: Table converted into a graphic

  6. Now right-click the table graphic carefully to bring up the contextual menu, as shown in Figure 6. Now within this menu, you will find the Group | Ungroup option as shown in Figure 6 (compare with contextual menu in Figure 1). Select this Group | Ungroup option.
    Group | Ungroup option
    Figure 6: Group | Ungroup option

  7. PowerPoint will warn you that the picture (graphic) will get converted to a Microsoft Office drawing object within a message window, as shown in Figure 7. Click Yes to proceed.

    Microsoft PowerPoint message window
    Figure 7: Microsoft PowerPoint message window

  8. Then, with the ungrouped table graphic still selected, right-click once again carefully and choose the Group | Ungroup option from the contextual menu as shown in Figure 8.
    Table graphic being ungrouped second time
    Figure 8: Table graphic being ungrouped second time

  9. Now you'll see that all your table cells (and also text) are now individual shapes (see Figure 9). Click anywhere outside the table area to deselect these shapes.

    Table components converted into individual shapes
    Figure 9: Table components converted into individual shapes

  10. You'll find that the actual table cell, and the text contained within are now separate slide objects -- you can either select them both and group them - or you can delete the text altogether, and type it within its container shape (cell) again.

  11. If you find any other extra shapes and line segments, delete them.

At this point of time, you can format these individual shapes as required, and also animate them individually or in groups as required.

See Also:
Ungroup Tables in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Ungroup Tables in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-book


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