Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: AutoFitting Tables.

AutoFitting Tables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 8, 2017)

Word makes it very easy to add tables to your documents. Once added, you may need to adjust the width of the columns in your table to fit your needs. There are a myriad of ways you can do this, as has been covered in other issues of WordTips. One of the quickest ways you can adjust the width of columns is to use the AutoFit feature of Word. This feature is particularly useful if you have a small amount of information in each cell of your table. To use the feature, follow these steps:

  1. Select the entire table.
  2. Make sure the Layout tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  3. In the Cell Size group click AutoFit. Word displays a drop-down list of choices.
  4. Choose AutoFit Contents from the choices.

The effect on your table depends on whether it contains information or not. If the table is empty, the columns are evenly resized so they fit within the page margins. If there is information in any of the columns, the column width is set so that information fits on a line (if possible).

If your table contains information, you can use the mouse to quickly do an AutoFit. You do that by simply double-clicking the mouse on the left border of the table. The column widths adjust automatically, the same as if you went through the steps detailed above.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5971) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: AutoFitting Tables.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Styles for Lines, Dashes, and Arrows

Create a simple drawing object, and Excel makes some assumptions about how that object should appear. Excel provides a wide ...

Discover More

Get Rid of Web Stuff

When you copy information from a Web page and paste it into a worksheet, you can end up with more than you bargained for. ...

Discover More

Converting a PDF to a Docs File

Need to get the text out of a PDF file so that you can edit it? Docs makes it easy by offering to convert the file for you as ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Underlining Cells, Not Space Between Cells

Word provides a couple of ways you can underline information, including underlining table cells and their contents. Getting ...

Discover More

Squaring Table Cells

Inserting a table is fast and easy in Word. You may want to make sure that the cells in the table are as square as possible. ...

Discover More

Right Aligning a Table Column with an Indent

Word allows you to get a bit fancy in formatting the alignment of your tables. In this tip, you discover how to enter very ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.