36

I have a piece of text with many lines. What's the easiest way to convert these lines into rows of a Google Docs table?

(Sure, I could create a table manually and 1-by-1 copy/paste each line into each row, but that would be a waste of time.)

5 Answers 5

42

The problem for a Q&A site is that "easiest" is subjective.
However I can offer one approach which is to copy the text into Sheets and copy that back into Docs.
It is quite practical for me, but might not be "easiest" for you.

4
  • 1
    Interesting... this is fast enough if there's no proper inbuilt way. Btw is this a proper "clean" Google docs table? Or would there be some invisible WYSIWYG metadata lurking around?
    – Pacerier
    Dec 16, 2017 at 4:04
  • @Pacerier It copies the formatting as well. You can use "Clear Formatting" option to fix it, but you still have to manually fix the "Cell padding" (should be 0.176 cm or 0.069 in) and "Cell vertical alignment" (should be Top) in "Table Properties".
    – ADTC
    May 24, 2019 at 6:56
  • 1
    I am still waiting for a built in tool, two years later. So +1 for this workaround, thank you
    – Qsigma
    Oct 23, 2019 at 9:07
  • Copying into Excel rather than Sheets also works. Though I found I had to set the border width after pasting it. So just as with Sheets, "Clear formatting" may be needed. Jul 1, 2021 at 15:57
3

You can try BulletsToTable.com which will convert your list to a table.

Bonus: It works for heirarchical lists as well, so something like:

  • Item 1
    • Sub-item 1
      • Sub-sub-item 1
      • Sub-sub-item 2
    • Sub-item 2
      • Sub-sub-item 3

will become

Table format of list

2

Incidentally, to convert a table to plain text, do pretty much the reverse of what pnuts said: copy the table or table fragment, paste without formatting to a Sheet, copy that, and paste without formatting to a Doc.

For some reason if you simply copy/paste from a Doc to a Doc, every cell is pasted on its own line (which in my mind is a bug, but whatever). But if you copy/paste from a Sheet to a Doc, the cells are tab-separated. Woo-hoo!

1
  • 1
    Pasting without formatting to a doc just puts everything into one cell, somehow.
    – riv
    Jun 3, 2019 at 22:27
0

This is a painfully missing function in Google Docs. LibreOffice is only slightly better, but none duplicate the power of "Convert Text to Table" function in the full version of MS-Word. One workaround is to paste the column (list of data items) into Google Sheets, then use the "TRANSPOSE" function in Google Sheets to quickly change "n" elements into your list into a single row of data. It's a manual process, but much quicker than pasting each individual list item into a blank table.

I do this monthly with a 1000+ long list of data that I want into an 8 column table, so I have a G-Sheets file that has a transpose function every 8 rows in Sheets column "D". When I paste the new month's data into Sheets Column "A", every 8 items get turned into a single row of the table there in Col. D-K. I then copy Columns D-K to a blank sheet, do a "paste values", then sort the data to remove the blank rows.

-1

I can say with experience that none of these suggestions worked and that Docs rather copied every line of attempted text into every cell in the Docs table. So the only way to convert is to painstakingly copy/paste each individual text. For me i had to do a table of 100 so it was just great really user friendly

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.