How to Center a Table in Google Docs

829468 How to Center a Table in Google Docs

Aligning and formatting tables in documents can sometimes be tricky. When creating a table in Google Docs, you may want it perfectly centered on the page rather than left aligned. Fortunately, Google Docs makes it easy to center tables with just a few clicks. In this article, I’ll walk you through the simple steps to center a table in Google Docs.

Why You Should Center Tables

Centered tables look more professional and neat in documents. Aligning tables to the center instead of the left margin creates symmetry and helps the content inside the table cells stand out more. This improves the readability and visual appeal of your document. Centered tables also work well when you have images or other elements flanking the sides of the page. Rather than your table competing with these other elements, centering it helps it claim its own space.

How to Center a Table in Google Docs

Centering a table in Google Docs is a breeze once you know where to find the alignment options. Here are the three simple steps:

1. Create Your Table

First, insert and populate your table in Google Docs as needed. To do this:

  1. Click Insert > Table on the Docs toolbar.
  2. Select the number of rows and columns needed, then click Insert.
  3. Enter your content into the table cells.

Once your table is made, it will automatically align to the left by default.

2. Select Your Entire Table

Next, select the entire table so you can format it all at once:

  1. Click anywhere inside the table to reveal the table toolbar.
  2. Click the Select option on the toolbar (it has a dashed border icon).
  3. Select Table > Select table to highlight the full table.

3. Align Center

Finally, with your entire table selected, use the alignment options to center it:

  1. Look for the Align options on the formatting toolbar (it has left, center, and right align icons).
  2. Click the center align icon.
  3. The full table is now aligned to the center of the document page!

And that’s all there is to it! Google Docs makes table alignment incredibly simple. Now you can quickly center tables for a polished, professional look.

Tips for Perfectly Centered Tables

Here are some useful tips for working with centered tables in Google Docs:

  • Check alignment on wider pages – A table may look centered on your screen but can drift left or right when viewed on larger monitors. Use the Docs mobile preview mode to check alignment.
  • Use inside borders only – With a centered table, borders on all sides can look too boxed in if they don’t line up with page margins. Stick to inside borders between cells.
  • Break text around the table – Rather than awkwardly wrapping text around a centered table, use page breaks above and below so it stands alone. This helps it claim its space.
  • Simplify table width – A table that spans the whole page width can still be centered but reduces readability. Narrower tables, around 50-75% page width, improve consumption.

When to Left Align Tables Instead

Centered table alignment doesn’t always make sense. Consider left aligning your tables if:

  • You only have a few narrow columns – Left aligned works better for skinny tables.
  • You have lengthy text in cells – Wide tables with paragraphs or lists can be hard to read centered.
  • Your page is very text heavy – With lots of body text, a centered table can feel disruptive.
  • You also have images centered – Too many centered items starts to look messy.

Use your best judgment for table alignment depending on the context. Both left and centered options have their place.

Formatting Tables for Maximum Impact

In addition to alignment, leverage other Google Docs formatting to optimize tables:

  • Add borders – Borders contain tables as a unit and make cells easier to distinguish
  • Use background color – Subtle shading emphasizes the entire table on the page
  • Bold column headers – Make the first row stand out from the content rows for easy scanning
  • Increase padding – More white space within cells improves consumption of text
  • Resize dynamically – Adjust column widths to best fit natural content size

Don’t settle for basic tables. With handy tools like alignment, borders, colors and more, it just takes a few tweaks to transform dull tables into appealing visual elements that boost comprehension.


I hope this article clarified exactly how to center a table in Google Docs. With the step-by-step instructions and tips provided, you should now feel confident aligning your tables for maximum appeal and readability. Well-formatted tables make your documents look exponentially more professional.

The next time you need to create a neat and centered table for a report, newsletter, proposal, or any other document, simply follow the guidance above. Google Docs really does offer powerful controls for simple table creation and styling.

And remember – well-designed tables don’t just look nice, they also make your most important data easier to digest. Apply these best practices for table creation to watch your information stand out.