If you want to include structured information in a Gmail message, you probably want to use a table.
Unfortunately there is no easy way to insert a table into Gmail directly, for example there is no table tool. Although it is not possible to add tables to Gmail messages officially, there are some ways to avoid the problem.
For example, you can use Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to create your table, and then copy and paste it into your email. For this, this is what you have to do.
Create a table in Spreadsheets (Sheets) or Excel
First, you will have to create a table in a third party tool. Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel are perfect for this, since the data is already separated in a table-like structure.
To get started, open Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel and enter your details. You can format the data using bold or italic for fonts, currencies or decimals for numbers, cell borders … whatever you want and need from your table.
This format will be kept when you copy and paste the table.
Copy the table from Spreadsheets (Sheets) or Excel
With your “table” data ready, select it and be sure to include all cells. You can do this easily by dragging the cursor over the inserted data.
Then use one of these Copy actions:
- Right-click and select Copy.
- Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + C on Windows or Command + C on Mac.
- In Google Sheets, go to Edit> Copy.
- In Microsoft Excel, click Copy on the home page ribbon
Paste the table in Gmail
Go to Gmail and press the button in the upper left to compose your message as you normally would. Place your cursor in the body of the message where you want to insert the table.
Then use one of these Paste actions:
- Right-click and select Paste.
- Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + V on Windows or Command + V on Mac.
You will then see your data table properly formatted and structured in your email.
Use plain text mode
If your table appears messy without any structure when you paste it (as shown in the screenshot below), you may have enabled the Plain text mode for your email. This mode will not display a formatted table.
To disable it, click the three points from the bottom right of the message to open More options. Deselect Plain text mode to deactivate it.
You can then delete the messy data and paste the table back. Then it should appear correctly.
Edit the table in Gmail
Once you have inserted a table in Gmail, you can make changes to it.
You can edit the data, change the text format, and add or remove data from the table after pasting it into Gmail. The structure remains the same, as long as you don’t delete or modify any of the cells in the table.
You cannot edit the table itself, such as inserting columns, deleting rows, or adding borders.
Create an organized message in Gmail
Hopefully the ability to insert a table into an email will be a feature that Google will add to Gmail in the future. Until then, you can add some structure and organization to the information you send in your message by copying and pasting a table in Gmail by following the steps outlined above.