Comparison of Table Types

The add-in allows you to update Word and PowerPoint tables in 3 ways: 1. Destination-formatted tables, 2. Excel-formatted (Flex) tables, and 3. Via an image of the source range/table. The table below compares these 3 methods.


Tables (Destination-formatted)

Flex tables (Excel-formatted)

Table images


  • The original (and default) table type
  • Only transfers the table text content from Excel, not formatting
  • Formatting is applied in the destination (Word or PowerPoint) -- the update does not modify the format
  • Flexible formatting options
  • Allow updating of Word tables with Excel-formatting
  • Fast
  • Great for financial reports
  • Not supported in PowerPoint
  • Easy to format
  • Transfers an exact image of the Excel range/table
  • Can result in large files sizes

How it Works

Only the Excel table text/values are transferred to Word/PowerPoint. The text is updated in the destination table, but the table format is not modified. The add-in resizes the destination table (by inserting/deleting rows/columns) to match the size of the Excel table/range.

Tables (including format) are created in Excel and replace the Word tables.

The Excel add-in creates an image of the range which replaces the Word/PowerPoint image


no limits (works in Word & PowerPoint; Windows, Macs & Online; Add-in & Cloud updates)

Word only (also works with Cloud/template updates and the API)


Not directly compatible with Macs (see workaround)^1

Size in desination file



Large transfer and file sizes

Update speed

Word add-in updates can be slow for large tables

Cloud updates are fast

Fast: can update dozens of large tables in seconds



  • Uses destination format (only updates text)
  • Table format can be modified in Word/PPT
  • 3 insert/link options (with 1 "Insert Content / Update Link" button):
    1. If no table is selected, the add-in inserts a new table
    2. If existing table is selected (with your format), it links it
    3. If you want it to look like Excel: copy the range/table from Excel, then past into Word/PowerPoint with source format, then link
  • Can use source (Excel) or specified table format or mix
  • Changes to table format in Word will be over-written by update
  • Table Styles not applied ^2
  • Appears the same as it does in Excel
  • See fix for missing borders ^1

Merged Cells

Yes, with limits



Excel Named Ranges




Excel Tables (Data Tables)


Yes (Table Styles are ignored ^2)




Yes (PivotTable Styles are ignored ^2)


Conditional Formatting




HTML Formatting No Yes - cells can contain HTML content No

Works with Cloud Updates (including Personal and Business templates)


Yes (inserts line break after the table)


Table re-sizing

Yes, it inserts/deletes rows/columns to match the Excel table size. There are limits ^3

Yes - it recreates and replaces the destination (Word) table

Yes - it replaces the destination image

Appropriate for large financial tables and reports

Not likely (slow, formating limitations)

May be good for Cloud Updates (incl templates)


No (large file sizes)

Potential Issues

Slow update speeds for large tables

Formatting limitations ^3

Requires some content between tables ^4

Cloud updates insert a line break after the table

Office Online limitations ^5

Low resolution > make font larger in Excel

Large file size


^1 Table images Mac and borders workaround: in Excel: copy the range, paste it as a "Linked Picture", then name that shape (starting with your prefix)

^2 When using Excel Tables (e.g. "Format as Table"), as opposed to named ranges, the Table Syles are ignored. You must explicitly apply formats (font color/size, background, borders, etc.) to appear in the Word table. All formats applied to named ranges can appear in the Word table. PivotTables work the same way as Excel Tables.

^3 Dest Table formatting limitations: The add-in inserts/deletes rows/columns (before the last row/column) to match the Excel table size. Uses the next-to-the-last row/column as the style template. With complex formatting when resizing is needed, it may insert/delete row at wrong location resulting in misplaced/offset row formats.

Also, the add-in can't resize both columns and rows in 1 update (though Cloud Updates can).

^4 Word requires some content (e.g. a line break) after a Flex table if there is another table (any type) directly below it

^5 Office Online may experience other issues, such as some appearance differences and some other incompatibilities. Office on Windows or Macs is recommended for Flex tables.