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Dealing with lengthy and complicated tables in Word is a hassle. It's often easier to manage and manipulate data in Excel. So, the question becomes: how can you convert Word tables to Excel quickly and efficiently? 

Word tables → Excel
Automate Word table extraction now!

Converting your Word document to Excel isn't as complicated as you might expect. In fact, there are several ways to transfer your data, including copy-pasting or utilizing online tools. Select the method that best fits your requirements.

When do you need to convert Word tables to Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a brilliant tool for storing and processing massive data sets and performing complex calculations. It can handle a vast amount of data. With thousands of rows and columns per worksheet, it can perform basic and advanced calculations, such as arithmetic, statistics, logic, and financial functions. Its comprehensive features make it an indispensable tool for data analysis and numerical calculations.

While Microsoft Word is ideal for creating text-based documents and reports, it is not meant to handle large amounts of data or perform complex calculations. So, the need to convert Word tables to Excel arises due to several reasons: 

  • When you need to perform complicated statistical analyses like standard deviation, regression, and correlation.
  • If the data you are working with needs to be sorted, filtered, or categorized.
  • When you want to use pivot tables to summarize, analyze, explore, and present your data.
  • When you must add critical insights to the Word document, and present it along with a link to the Excel sheet for further review.
  • If the document you're working with contains tables that are too large to manage in Word.
  • When you need to create visual representations of your data, such as charts, graphs, or histograms. 
  • To use Excel’s advanced features like conditional formatting, data validation, and what-if analysis.
  • When you need to work with multiple team members on the same dataset collaboratively.

No matter your reason, converting your Word tables to Excel can significantly improve your productivity, efficiency, and data analysis capabilities. Now, let's dive into the different methods to convert Word tables to Excel.

Method Description Best for
Copy and Paste Manual copying and pasting the tables. Small tables with simple formatting.
Save as Text and Import Save as a .txt and import to Excel. Preserving basic text formats and delimiters.
PDF and Get Data Save as PDF and use Excel's 'Get Data' feature. Importing multiple tables with original format.
Online Conversion Tools Use tools like Online2PDF or Smallpdf. Quick conversions without software installation.
AI-powered OCR Tools Use AI tools like Nanonets for bulk processing. Complex or numerous documents needing automation.

1. Manually copying and pasting the tables

This is the most straightforward method to transfer your Word tables to Excel. While it may be time-consuming for larger tables, it's quick and efficient for smaller ones. 

Here's how to do it:

  1. Open your Word document and locate the table you want to copy.
  2. Click at the beginning of the table, hold down your mouse button, and drag to the end of the table to select it.
  3. Right-click the selected area and choose 'Copy' from the context menu.
  4. Open Excel and place your cursor in the cell where you want the table to appear.
  5. Right-click and choose 'Paste'. The table data will now be in Excel, and you can adjust the column widths and row heights as needed.

Please note that this method can sometimes lead to formatting issues, especially if your table contains merged cells or complex layouts. So, ensure to review your data in Excel after pasting.

2. Save the Word document as a .txt file and open it in Excel

Excel lets you import tables from .txt files. So, save your Word document that contains the table as a .txt file and then import it into Excel. 

It gives you the freedom to choose the column data format and delimiters. So basic formatting like number, date, and text formats can be retained. 

Opening text files with Excel
Opening text files with Excel

Here's how to do it:

  1. Open the Word document and locate the table you want to convert. Select the whole table.
  2. Click on the layout tab, then click 'Convert to Text'. In the dialog box that pops up, select the delimiter you want and click 'OK'.
  3. Save the document as a .txt file by clicking on 'File', then 'Save As', and choose 'Plain Text (.txt)' from the drop-down menu.
  4. Open Excel, click 'File', then 'Open', and locate the .txt file you saved. An import wizard will pop up.
  5. Follow the import wizard's instructions: select 'Delimited', click 'Next', choose your delimiter, and click 'Next' again. You can also set the data format for each column.
  6. Click 'Finish' to complete the import process. You should now see your table in Excel.

In text files, characters like commas, tabs, or spaces act as delimiters, separating words or phrases. When importing these files into Excel, the chosen delimiter helps divide the data into separate cells. 

While this method is straightforward, you'll have to spend considerable time manually cleaning the data in documents with a lot of text and images besides the table. Also, lengthy tables, merged cells, and complex layouts may not be accurately represented when converted into the .txt format.

3. Save the document as a PDF and use Excel’s 'Get Data' feature

Excel has a built-in function called 'Get Data', which can import data from various sources, including PDF files. So, save your Word document as a PDF and then import your tables using the 'Get Data' function in Excel. 

Use Excel's Get Data tab to extract tables from PDFs
Use Excel's Get Data tab to extract tables from PDFs

Here's how:

  1. Open your Word document and go to 'File' > 'Save As' > 'PDF'.
  2. Open Excel, navigate to the 'Data' tab, and select 'Get Data'.
  3. Choose 'From File' > 'From PDF' in the drop-down menu.
  4. Locate and select the PDF file you just saved, then click 'Import'.
  5. Excel will then display a Navigator window — select the tables you want to import and click 'Load' to edit/analyze the Word tables in Excel.

This method is especially useful when you have multiple tables in your Word document, as Excel's 'Get Data' function can identify and import all tables at once. Plus, it also keeps the original formatting intact.

However, this method might not be perfect for documents with complex layouts or merged cells, as the 'Get Data' function may not accurately recognize such formatting.

Note: You can also extract tables from text files using the ‘Get Data’ feature.

Word tables → Excel
Extract complex tables with ease!

4. Upload documents to online conversion tools

If you want to avoid manually copying and pasting your tables or going through the process of saving and importing files, online conversion tools could be a good option. 

These tools can automatically convert your Word document into an Excel file, saving you time and effort.


Some of the popular online converters include:

  • Online2PDF
  • Smallpdf
  • Zamzar
  • Convertio

These tools are straightforward to use. Generally, you need to:

  1. Visit the website of your chosen conversion tool.
  2. Click 'Upload' or 'Choose File' to select your Word document.
  3. Select 'Excel' or '.xlsx' as the output format.
  4. Click on 'Convert' or 'Start conversion'. The tool will then process your file and convert it into an Excel document.
  5. Once the conversion is complete, download the converted file to your device.

While these tools are great for quick conversions, they have a few limitations. For instance, they might not perfectly handle complex tables or preserve all formatting. 

Also, if your document contains sensitive information, you should consider your privacy as these files are uploaded to a cloud server during conversion.

5. Employ AI-powered OCR tools to process documents in bulk

Manual methods and simple tools might not be enough when you want to simultaneously process complex tables or hundreds of documents.

Along with table extraction, you may need tools to identify, classify, and extract data at scale. This is where AI-powered automated tools come in.

Automate table extraction from Word Docs with Nanonets

If you're grappling with complex document automation, Nanonets is what you need. It seamlessly extracts data from even the most complicated tables.

Combining OCR and AI, Nanonets can effectively read, understand, and extract information from your documents. So, be it a bank statement, purchase order, or invoice — with different layouts, languages, currencies, line items, and column names — Nanonets can handle it all.

Here is how you can use Nanonets:

  1. Upload your Word file(s) to the platform
  2. The AI model will automatically extract the data from the tables in the file(s).
  3. Review and validate the extracted data for accuracy
  4. Download the data in your preferred format, such as .xlsx or .csv
  5. Export the extracted data to your desired software or tool

What’s more? Every time you make a manual correction, the AI learns from it and improves its performance, making it more accurate over time.

Extract→Validate→Export documents in seconds.

If you’re a finance assistant, accountant, or data analyst, getting the data you want in Excel is only half the battle. Often, you must process the data further, analyze it, send it for approval, or export it to other software. With Nanonets, you can extract the data and automate these downstream tasks.

Document import and export options available on Nanonets
Document import and export options available on Nanonets

Nanonets offers powerful data import and export integrations, meaning you can conveniently move data between your preferred tools and platforms. It integrates with popular tools such as:

  •  Google Sheets
  •  QuickBooks
  •  Xero
  •  SAP
  • Salesforce
  • Sage

It also has a Zapier integration, enabling you to connect with thousands of other apps and services, automating many of the tasks in your workflow.

Nanonets' powerful AI engine and seamless integrations make it a comprehensive tool for document processing, especially when dealing with complex or large quantities of data.

With automated validation, built-in task assignment, and multi-stage approval workflows, you can ensure your data is accurately captured, processed, and approved. You can reduce manual errors, save time, maintain transparency, and improve compliance.

Wrapping up

Whether you’re a financial analyst dealing with heaps of data, an accountant managing multiple invoices, or a doctoral student compiling research data, transferring tables from Word to Excel can be daunting. However, this process can be significantly simplified with the correct methods and tools.

Processing your data faster allows you to focus more on analysis, decision-making, or other important tasks that require your expertise. Hopefully, this quick tutorial has been a good starting point for you.

If you want to learn about the advanced features and capabilities of Nanonets, feel free to schedule a demo with our team. We'd be happy to walk you through how our AI-powered tool can streamline document processing tasks and significantly improve productivity. 

While converting Word tables to Excel is handy, imagine taking efficiency a step further with Nanonets Workflow Automation! Don't stop at data extraction; use our platform to automate the entire process, creating workflows in minutes with seamless app integration. By incorporating AI, including custom LLMs, and human-in-loop stages, you can ensure accuracy while saving time on manual tasks. Upgrade your productivity by connecting to Nanonets' Workflows and let automation do the heavy lifting for you.

Learn More


How do I convert a Word document to Excel?

There are multiple ways to convert a Word document to Excel online and offline. One of the ways is to use the "Save As" function in Word and then save the document as a plain text file. The next step is importing it into Excel using the "From Text/CSV" option in the Data tab. However, if you have large or complicated documents, it is advisable to use an OCR tool powered by AI, such as Nanonets.

How do I convert Word to Excel offline?

To convert a Word document to Excel offline, you can use the "Save As" function in Word. Firstly, save the document as a plain text file, and then import it into Excel using the "From Text/CSV" option in the Data tab.

How do I use Word in Excel?

You can use Word in Excel by embedding a Word document in an Excel worksheet. Go to the 'Insert' tab in Excel, click 'Object', then 'Create from File' and select your Word document. Alternatively, you can copy text or tables from Word and paste them directly into Excel.

How to copy and paste a table from Word to Excel without splitting cells?

First, select the table in Word and copy it. Then, in Excel, use the "Paste Special" function and choose "unformatted text" to paste the table. This will ensure that the table structure remains intact and cells are not split.

How do I convert a table to Excel?

If you want to convert a table from Word to Excel, there are two ways to do it. The first option is to copy the table from Word and paste it into Excel. The second option is to save the table as a plain text file in Word using the "Save As" function. Once you have saved the file, import it into Excel using the "From Text/CSV" option in the Data tab.

How do you copy and paste a table in Excel and keep formatting?

Use the "Paste Special" command to copy and paste a table in Excel while keeping the formatting. After copying the table, right-click where you want to paste, select "Paste Special", then choose "Formats". This will keep the original table formatting.

How to convert Word to Excel with columns?

You can easily convert Word documents to Excel spreadsheets with columns using third-party tools like Nanonets. These tools preserve formatting and layout.

How to copy from Word to Excel into multiple cells?

To copy from Word to Excel into multiple cells, you can use the Text Import Wizard in Excel. First, save your Word file as a plain text file. Then, when opening this file in Excel, the Text Import Wizard will give you options for dividing the text into separate cells.

How to transfer data from Word to Excel automatically?

If you are trying to automate converting Word documents to Excel spreadsheets, you can use a macro or script to perform the conversion automatically. However, this requires some programming knowledge. Alternatively, you can use an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tool like Nanonets. It allows you to extract and export data from Word documents directly into Excel, saving time and ensuring accuracy. This is especially useful for large volumes of data or complex document structures.