Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Spacing Table Rows Vertically.

Spacing Table Rows Vertically

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 5, 2015)


When you are working with tables, you may wonder how you can easily add space before a table row. This can be important when you have the table formatted with borders, and the text in the table is too close to the border at the top of the row. Word makes it easy to add space after the information in a row, simply by adjusting the height of the row itself so it is greater than the space occupied by the information in the row. But what about before a row?

An easy way to solve this problem is with paragraph formatting. If you have a single paragraph in each cell of a row, simply select the row. You can then follow these steps:

  1. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Paragraph icon at the bottom-right of the Paragraph group. (The icon looks like a small arrow that points down and to the right.). Word displays the Paragraph dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Paragraph dialog box.

  4. Adjust the Before setting so it represents the amount of space you want between the text and the row border. (A good setting is either 3 or 6 pt.)
  5. Click on OK.

You can also use this method if you have multiple paragraphs in each cell. The difference, however, is that you should only select and format the top paragraph in each cell, instead of formatting the paragraphs in the row as a whole.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5988) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Spacing Table Rows Vertically.

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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What is 1 + 8?

2015-09-15 01:41:50

Liz McDowell

Another way would be to go to Table properties > options and adjust the top and bottom margins. 0.1cm = 3pt

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