Why would you need tables in your Word document?
among other reasons, easiest way to do certain kinds of underlining. also handy for forms, both printed and fill-in-the-blanks. Unless you are using VBA to do forms in Excel (powerful but much more to learn), Word is much handier for fill in the blank stuff. Without using tables it's almost impossible to keep variable length fields from changing your line-length and therefore your pagination.
Word tables can be handy for entering data or for composing/designing when you know you will have some kind of row/column setup but not sure what the final layout will be. The kind of thing I have in mind would be tedious using tabs (which most definitely have their place - tables aren't always the best tool).
Generally it's easier to line things up with a table than with tabs. Except when it's not.
(Word 2002) I've always found Table Styles
to be useless, so I've never used them enough to cause the formatting problems cited in the excerpt from superboyac's post.
As far as the other things it says not to do because they lead to instability, I've already learned not to do them, but not due to instability problems. Some of the things he talks about (tables within tables, merging or splitting cells) I don't do because they don't turn out to be useful, don't work well enough to be useful, or make things tougher (eg merged cells make selecting rows/columns and a few other things difficult).
I've never had instability problems using tables, but my tables are seldom complicated, and rarely more than a few pages.
If you are talking about a generic table (rows and columns), sometimes Word is better, sometimes Excel is better. Word is usually much better if there's much text and fancy formatting, Excel if the numeric formulas are anything more than really simple (try copying a calculated field formula with cell references down a column in Word).
If I'm importing rows and columns of data that I'm ultimately going to put in Word, sometimes it's easier to first import the data into Excel, do some massaging/formatting and then copy it to Word where it automatically turns into a table, and then finish the massaging and formatting. This is because some things are easier in Excel than Word and the reverse.
Do Not Use Tables!!
interesting, but what did you do? Was it a massive table? did it have some sort of complex styling going on?
Yeah, what did you do?