Fix Insert Table is Grayed Out in Excel

The Insert Table option in Excel allows us to create a table from selected data in a worksheet. However, sometimes this option may be grayed out, as shown below, making it unusable.

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This tutorial identifies four reasons for grayed-out Insert Table option and how to fix the problem.

Fix #1: Fix Insert Table is Grayed Out Because the Worksheet is Protected

We protect worksheets for several reasons, including preventing accidental deletion or changing data and unauthorized access to confidential information. Consequently, when we protect worksheets and disallow editing, the Insert Table option is grayed out.

We must remove protection from the worksheet to fix Insert Table is grayed out because the worksheet is protected.

We use the steps below:

  1. Click Review >> Protect >> Unprotect Sheet.
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  1. If necessary, enter the same password used to protect the worksheet on the Unprotect Sheet dialog box and click OK.
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The Insert Table option becomes active and can be used to insert tables in the worksheet.

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Fix #2: Fix Insert Table is Grayed Out Because the Worksheet is in Editing Mode

When Excel is in editing mode, a cell is open for editing its contents. We enter the edit mode by double-clicking a cell, pressing F2 when a cell is selected, and clicking in the Formula bar.

When in the editing mode, the Insert Table option is grayed out, as seen below where cell C2 is being edited:

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To fix this, we must exit the edit mode by pressing Tab, Esc, or Enter.

Fix #3: Fix Insert Table is Grayed Out Because Multiple Worksheets are Selected

We select multiple worksheets in Excel when we want to perform tasks on more than one worksheet at a time. However, selecting multiple worksheets in a workbook makes the Insert Table option grayed out and unusable, as seen in the below workbook:

To activate the Insert Table option, we select one worksheet in the selection, and all the other worksheets will be deselected, and the Insert Table option will be activated.

We can also deselect the worksheets by right-clicking one of the selected worksheets and choosing Ungroup Sheets on the shortcut menu that appears.

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Fix #4: Fix Insert Table is Grayed Out Because Cell Selector is in a Table

If the cell selector is within an Excel table, the Insert Table option is grayed out, as shown in the example below where cell B3 in the table is selected:

In this case, to activate the Insert Table option, we move the cell selector to a cell in the worksheet outside the table.

In the example below, the cell selector is in cell E2 outside the table; therefore, the Insert Table option is active.

Conclusion

This tutorial showed four techniques for fixing Insert Table is grayed out in Excel. We hope you found the tutorial helpful.

Tomasz Decker is an Excel specialist, skilled in data analysis and financial modeling.