How To Make A Table In Photoshop (Step By Step)

Whether you’re creating a printable design or needing to create a table for work purposes, it’s relatively quick to create one in Photoshop. Although they are not the most easily editable when compared to something like Excel or a basic word document, you unlock other design options that make Photoshop a worthwhile table-making tool.

So let’s take a look at how to create a table from scratch and use it to create a printable workout template design.

How To Make A Table In Photoshop

There are better options than this method if you design anything you need to customize heavily, like a calendar or spreadsheet. For this, making a table in Canva may be a better option as it is more intuitive and user-friendly when customizing sheets and tables. 

Instead, these steps show a quick way to make simple tables which is where Photoshop shines.

Step 1: Create A New Document

The first step in making your table is creating a new document. Click the New File button on the Photoshop start screen or head to File > New.

Set the Width and Height of your document and, if needed, the resolution. As I’ll print this table, I’ve set the size to 4500×3300 Pixels at 300 Pixels/Inch, which fits my printing needs best. 

Click Create when you’ve set the size, and the document will appear on your canvas and in the Layers Panel.

Step 2: Add Grid Lines

Now, you can add guides to your document, which will form the grid lines of the table. Add guides by heading to View > Guides > New Guide Layout.

In the Columns and Rows sections, you can set the number of lines to however many columns and rows you need. It helps to add two more guidelines than the amount you need for width and height values. This will ensure that your table has a section of space around it so you don’t cut off the edges of the table when printing.

So, because I’d like a 5×4 table, I’ll enter 7 Columns and 6 Rows. Leave the Gutter empty because you won’t want a gutter for these grids.

Click OK, and the gridlines will appear on the document. As you can see, the center area is 5×4 blocks, with a row of extra cells around it, so we aren’t going to cut off the edges of the document.

Step 3: Create A Rectangle

In the Toolbar, head to the Shape Tool (U). If it isn’t already set to the Rectangle, click and hold the tool and select Rectangle Tool.

In the Options Bar, click the Fill box and make sure the fill is set to Transparent.

Now, I’ll click and drag the rectangle to cover the center 5×4 area of cells.

As you drag, the shape should snap to place around the guides, but if it doesn’t, you can head to View > Snap To > Guides.

This will ensure that your shape lays perfectly along those guidelines. And once you’ve finished, you’ll have the base of your table.

Step 4: Add Lines To The Table

Head back to the Shape Tool (U). Click and hold the icon, and select the Line Tool.

In the Options Bar, ensure the line Weight is set to at least 2 px so you can see the lines around the Grids.

Now, having enabled Snap To Guides (in the previous section), click and drag to create a line along the Guides. Hold Shift while dragging to keep the lines perfectly straight.

Repeat until you have lines covering the entire rectangle along the gridlines.

Step 5: Add Some Text 

Now, if you’d like, you can add text to your table, such as adding headings to the columns. To do this, click the Type Tool (T).

In the Options Bar, you can set your text’s Font, Style, Size, and Color. You can also go back and edit these options after you’ve added the text.

My table will form a weekday schedule, so I’ll write Monday at the top of the first column by clicking to add a text box above the column.

To center the text within the cell, I’ll head to the Marquee Tool (M).

Drag a new Marquee around the cell containing the text, turning it into a selection. 

In the Layers Panel, make sure the Text Layer is selected.

Then, head to the Move Tool (V).

In the Options Bar, click the center format icon to center the text within the cell.

Press Control + D (Win) or Command + D (Mac) to deactivate the selection. Repeat this process until you’ve added all the necessary text to your sheet.

You’ll see lots of text layers in the Layers Panel. You can group them all together by holding Control while clicking them and using the shortcut Control + G (Win) or Command + G (Mac).

(Optional) Step 6: Add The Table To Another Design

If you’d like, you can add this table to another design that includes more text, graphics, or images to complete the project. 

First, you’ll want to merge the Layers for your table design if you don’t need to edit any of the elements again. In the Layers Panel, select all the layers by holding Control (Win) or Command (Mac) and clicking each layer. You don’t need to select the Background layer.

Note: if you still want to edit some of the table elements after adding them to the new design, skip the merge step. Instead, select all the layers, copy and paste them onto the new document, and then link the layers to keep them together when you move or resize them.

Then, right-click or Control + click the layers and select Merge Layers.

In the Layers Panel, the layers will change to one. Click the Layer and press Control + C (Win) or Command + C (Mac) to copy it.

From there, all you need to do is open the design in a new tab (if it isn’t already open) by heading to File > Open and selecting the project from your files.

The project will open in a new tab. Click the Layers Panel and press Control + V (Win) or Command + V (Mac) to paste the table into the project. It will appear on your project and in the Layers Panel as Layer 1.

It will likely be incorrectly sized. So, with that same layer selected, you can toggle the Move Tool (V) and then the Transform Tool using Control + T (Win) or Command + T (Mac). Toggles will appear around the table, and you can scale and resize it to fit your project.

Step 7: Export Your Design

If you’d like, you can continue to the next section to learn how to fill the table cells with color. Otherwise, you can export your table by heading to File > Export > Export As.

In the Export As window, you can set the file to JPG if you plan to print and click Export to export the table to your files.

How To Fill Table Cells With Color In Photoshop

If you’d like, you can continue editing your table by filling the cells with color. This is optional but can help you keep track of the cells if you alternate colors for each row or column or add style to your table by making all the cells the same color.

To fill a cell with color, click and hold the Shape Tool (U) and select the Rectangle Tool. 

In the Options Bar, you can set the color of your cell by clicking the Fill box. Select the Color Fill icon and choose which color you’d like to use from the options provided or by selecting a color from the Color Picker window.

Now you can set the Stroke of the rectangle to transparent by clicking the Stroke box and selecting the first icon from the top.

Once you’ve set the color and stroke, click and drag along the guidelines to create a rectangle covering all the cells that you’d like to match that color. For me, I’ll make this entire first column the same color, so my rectangle will cover the first column.

Without the guidelines, you can see that the rectangle covers the table you’ve created, and the dividing lines are no longer visible in that first column.

To make sure the color is sitting behind your black lines and not covering them up, head to the Layers Panel. You’ll likely see a bunch of Line Layers, so to make things more clear, select all the Line Layers and group them using Control + G (Win) or Command + G (Mac)

It will now be much easier to click the colored rectangle I added and drag it below all the other layers except for the Background.

This will reorder the layer stack with the colored rectangle behind the other layers so that you can see the colored column with the black lines in front.

You can repeat this process to style your table with whatever colors you’d like. Once you’re happy with how your table looks, you can add elements like text or graphics or export your table.

So this basic table is pretty easy to make in Photoshop, but anything more complex is better suited for a tool like Canva. To see what I mean, check out my guide to creating tables in Canva here to see how customized they can get.

Article By

Brendan Williams

Hey, I'm Brendan! I'm a professional photographer and photo retoucher who has spent the majority of his career shooting or retouching outdoor lifestyle and social media campaigns for brands like G-Adventures, xoxo Bella, P&G, Fitbit, Chevy, Tourism California, and more. These days I primarily focus my efforts on this site, creating guides and tutorials that I wish I had earlier in my career. Each week I publish new tutorials on Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Canva to help you unlock new skills and bring your creativity to new levels! Everything you learn here is backed by real experience, so you can finally skip the fluff and focus only on what matters.

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