Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Creating Tables with Specific Column Widths.

Creating Tables with Specific Column Widths

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 16, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


1

Word allows you to easily create tables, but getting your column widths "just so" can be challenging, at times. For instance, what if you want a twelve-column table with the first two columns a certain width, and the rest of the columns sharing the remaining horizontal space? Here's an easy way to get the desired result:

  1. Create a one-row, three-column table. This one-row table should fill the whole width of your document, from margin to margin.
  2. Use the mouse to adjust the width of the first two columns, making them as wide as you need.
  3. Place the insertion point in the third column of the table.
  4. Display the Layout tab of the ribbon. (This tab is only visible if you perform step 3.)
  5. Click the Split Cells tool in the Merge group. Word displays the Split Cells dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Split Cells dialog box.

  7. Using the Number of Columns control, specify that you want the cell split into 10 columns.
  8. Click OK.

Your row is now just as you wanted. To create more rows just like it, select the row and then choose to insert additional rows above the selected row. After you insert the first row, just press F4 repeatedly until you have created the number of desired rows.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5921) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Creating Tables with Specific Column Widths.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is 8 + 4?

2023-12-18 10:03:03

Andrew

Another neat way for an existing table is to select any contiguous columns of the table and then EITHER:
• From the context menu (right clicking) select "Distribute Columns Evenly"
• Or, sometimes when the context menu is grayed-out, you can click on "Distribute Columns" from the Layout Menu on the ribbon.

And this works for evenly spacing rows too - using "Distribute Rows Evenly" or "Distribute Rows."

These methods are really great to use especially when dealing with "structured" tables (i.e., tables with merged cells). And because table spacing can get all borked in any number of ways - just remember to select the entire rows or columns of interest.

Andy.


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