Google Docs: How to Select Table Column or Whole Table

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Google Docs is pretty cool for typing stuff online, especially because you can work on the same document with your friends or coworkers. But when it comes to doing something like picking a whole table or just parts of it, like columns, it might feel a bit tricky compared to other programs. This guide is here to help you get the hang of selecting a table column or the entire table easily in Google Docs.

Also see: How to move an image to the front or back in Google Docs

How to select table columns or the entire table in Google Docs

Getting to know tables in Google Docs

First off, let’s talk about what makes up a table in Google Docs. It’s basically rows and columns that create a grid where you can add text, pictures, or other stuff. It’s a neat way to organize info like schedules, compare things, or even make simple designs.

How table works in Google Docs

Tables aren’t just about putting data in boxes, though. You can change their looks, like the border style, cell size, and color, to make your table not just useful but also nice to look at. And since Google Docs lets multiple people work on the same document at once, updating tables is super easy and can be done together.

Related resource: How to print front and back on Google Docs (double-sided)

How to pick columns or tables in Google Docs

Unlike other programs where you can just click and select tables or columns, Google Docs needs a bit of a workaround. Here’s how to select a column or more in Google Docs:

  1. Start by moving your mouse to the top cell of the column you want. Your cursor will change to an “I” shape, showing you’re ready to select text.Select to highlight a table cell
  2. With the cursor ready, click and hold the left mouse button and drag down the column. You’ll see the column get highlighted as you go.Select a table column in Google Docs
  3. To select more than one column, just move to the next column and do the same thing while holding the Shift key.Select multiple table columns in Google Docs

For bigger tables, you can use keyboard shortcuts like this:

  1. Put your cursor at the start of the first cell.
  2. Press and hold Shift, then press the Right Arrow key to start highlighting the cell’s content.
  3. Keep holding Shift and use the Down Arrow to select more cells down the way. Keep going until you’ve got what you need.Select multiple table cells in Google Docs

Quick tip: If dragging feels slow, you can click the first cell, hold Shift, and then click the last cell in the column to select it all at once.

Choosing the whole table in Google Docs

It might seem like there should be an easy button to grab the whole table, but Google Docs doesn’t work like that. Here’s a good way to do it:

  1. Start by putting your cursor at the very beginning of the first cell.Position your cursor at the start of the table
  2. Click and hold the left mouse button.
  3. Drag your mouse across the table all the way to the end of the last cell. Let go of the mouse when everything’s highlighted.Selecting whole table in Google Docs

If your table is really big, try this to select it all without the hassle:

  1. Click the first cell to start.Click the first cell in the table Google Docs
  2. While holding Shift, click the last cell. Bam, the whole table is selected.How to select an entire table in Google Docs

This trick is easy and quick, especially if you’re used to keyboard and mouse shortcuts in other software. It’s way easier than dragging across a big table.

Wrapping it up

Google Docs gets better all the time because people give feedback. So, there might be new ways to do things later on. But knowing these basic steps for now is super helpful.

Getting how to select columns or the whole table down pat is key for working with tables in Google Docs. It makes things like making reports, organizing data, or any table work really smooth and efficient.

Categories: Google

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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