Tables consist of columns and rows, which consist of cells. Understanding how to edit each component in the structure of your table will help you format tables effectively. The following articles discuss how to quickly format table structure to make your document appear just how you prefer.
Tips, Tricks, and Answers
The following articles are available for the 'Table Structure' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.
Adding Multiple Rows to a Table
Need to add more than a single row to an existing table? Word provides an assortment of ways that you can accomplish the task, as described in this tip.
Adjusting Column Width from the Keyboard
It's easy to adjust the width of table columns using the mouse, but what if you don't want to use the mouse? Adjusting column width using the keyboard is more difficult, but it can be done with the help of some macros.
Adjusting Column Widths on Copied Tables
Word allows you to adjust column width by clicking on a column border and dragging that border as desired. If doing so gives you some strange results, it could be due to the settings you have applied to the table.
Adjusting Column Widths on Joined Tables
Each table in a document can have different numbers of columns and different widths for columns. If you want to join two tables into one, it is likely that the columns of the original tables won't quite line up. Here's how to fix that situation.
Changing Column Width
Do you use columns in your document layout? You may want to modify the widths of various columns, and Word makes the change easy. Here's how.
Converting a Table into Text
Word includes a powerful table editor that allows you to create and work with tables easily. At some point, however, you might want to convert the contents of your table into plain text. Here’s how to do it.
Copying Rows and Columns with the Mouse
Word allows you to do quite a few editing tasks using the mouse. If you want to copy rows or columns in a table, you can use the mouse-based technique described in this tip.
You can modify the structure of a table by deleting cells. This tip shows just how easy it is to delete one (or more) cells from the middle of a table.
Deleting Table Columns with Track Changes Turned On
If you are editing a document with Track Changes turned on, Word won't let you delete a column in a table and have it marked as a change. There are ways around this problem, which are discussed in this tip.
Distributing Columns Evenly
When you want the horizontal space in a table to be divided evenly among the columns in the table, you'll love this tip. The task is accomplished by using the tools available on the Layout tab of the ribbon.
Erasing Table Lines
When creating tables, Word provides a handy tool that you can use. Once the table is in place, you can use the table eraser to get rid of lines between cells and merge them together. This tip explains how.
Expanding Width of All Tables
If you have a lot of tables in your documents, you might want to change the width of all of them. You can take forever doing it manually, or you can apply the simple macro in this tip to make quick work of the task.
Finding and Deleting Rows
Got a table that contains rows you want to delete? Deleting one or two rows in a table is easy; deleting a bunch of rows that meet certain criteria can be more difficult. Here's a way you can make the deletions.
Freezing a Table
Tired of Word changing the dimensions of table cells to accommodate what you place in those cells? You can instruct Word to leave your table cells alone and accept the dimensions you use.
How to Stop a Table Row from Splitting Over Two Pages
Do you want your table rows to be split between pages? Word allows you to format the table so that rows stay together and don’t split. How you do the formatting depends on the version of Word you are using.
Inserting Cells in a Table
You can enlarge a table by adding cells where they are needed. Just pick where you want the cells inserted, then use the commands described in this tip.
Merging Table Cells
Want to create cells that span multiple columns or multiple rows? You do this in Word by merging cells together. Here's how to accomplish the task.
Moving a Table Column
Want to move a column in a table very easily? You can do so by using the same editing techniques you are already using.
Moving a Table Row
Want to move a row in a table very easily? You can do so by using the same editing techniques you are already using.
Moving Rows and Columns with the Mouse
Like to use the mouse to help you with your document editing? You can move table rows and column with the mouse by using these few steps.
Moving Table Rows Quickly
One of the most esoteric shortcuts available in Word is one that allows you to move table rows, either within a table or outside of a table. Here's a description of the shortcut and how it works.
Precisely Adjusting Table Column Widths
If you want to resize the width of your table columns, you can do it using a mouse, but you can get more precise widths by displaying the Table Preferences dialog box. This tip explains how to pull up the proper dialog box so you can adjust the width of each column.
Pulling Tables Back Into View
If you make structural changes to your table by adding new columns here and there, you could easily end up with a table that is wider than what can be displayed on-screen. Here’s how to get your table back into view.
Putting Tables within Margins
When you first insert a table in your document, it extends from margin to margin. Later, after a bunch of editing and possible margin changes, you may need to again make the table fit within your margins. Here's a quick way to get the desired results.
Quickly Inserting Table Rows
Need to pop a few extra rows into a table? It is easy to do using the same tools you used to create the table in the first place. This tip explains how you can add the rows you need.
Repeating Column Information on Each Page
When your table occupies lots of pages, you may want to have information in a particular column repeated on each page. Word doesn't provide this ability, as discussed in this tip.
Repeating Rows for a Table Footer
Word allows you to specify rows that should be repeated at the top of a table when that table extends beyond the bottom of a page. It does not, however, allow you to repeat rows at the bottom of a table on each page. There is one possible workaround, involving using page footers, but it will take a bit of trial and error, as described in this tip.
Repeating Table Rows with Manual Page Breaks
Need to make sure part of a table is on one page and part on another? The way to do so is not to use manual page breaks, for all the reasons described in this tip.
Resizing Table Columns with the Mouse
Once a table is inserted in your document, you can use the mouse to adjust the width of columns. The effect the mouse pointer has on column widths depends, primarily, on your use of keys such as Shift and Ctrl.
Setting Consistent Column Widths in Multiple Tables
Tables are great for organizing and presenting information in a document. If you have a document containing multiple tables, you may be interested in making sure that the widths of columns in those tables are consistent.
Splitting Table Cells
When formatting tables, you can both merge and split cells. Here's a couple of ways you can easily perform the latter task and get your cells split apart.
Transposing Table Contents
When you transpose information, it is essentially "rotated" in a direction. If you transpose the information in a table, then the rows become columns and the columns become rows. This cannot be done directly in Word, but you can accomplish it if you work in conjunction with Excel.
Turning Off the Insert Column and Insert Row Tools
Word's new Insert Column and Insert Row tools can be a timesaver when adding table rows and columns. They can be a bother, though, in some situations. Fortunately, Word provides a way to turn the tool on and off in later versions of Word.
Working with Table Columns and Rows
Need to add or delete columns and rows from a table? It's easy to do using the tools provided in Word.