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: How to Stop a Table Row from Splitting Over Two Pages.

How to Stop a Table Row from Splitting Over Two Pages

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 11, 2018)


For some documents, it is par for the course to have tables extend from one page to another. As your tables get larger, Word automatically breaks tables so the most information can get on each page. This may mean that a row of your table may start on one page and end on the following page. Obviously, this is not acceptable for some tables. You may have the need to make sure that entire rows of your table stay together.

To make sure that Word doesn't break a particular row of your table, follow these steps:

  1. Select the row (or rows) that you want to keep together.
  2. Make sure the Layout tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  3. Click the Properties tool in the Table group at the left of the ribbon. Word displays the Table Properties dialog box.
  4. Make sure that the Row tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Row tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  6. Make sure the Allow Row to Break Across Pages check box is cleared.
  7. Click your mouse on OK.

If you are not sure about where a table may break (or even if it will), but you want to make sure that no row of the table is divided, you simply need to select the entire table in step 1 rather than selecting a single row.

Remember that these steps won't stop a table from splitting across two pages; it only stops individual rows from splitting across pages.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6037) 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: How to Stop a Table Row from Splitting Over Two Pages.

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 one less than 2?

2017-11-10 07:43:44

name and name

Your instructions have been helpful in the past but to make this work in my MS Word document I needed to adjust rulers on side. Any comments would be helpful to explain why this procedure worked.

2017-10-16 09:22:15


Thank you!

2017-09-11 11:24:59


The feature I really want is to allow a row to break across the page only if the row itself, as a whole, is more than one page tall. Otherwise the bottom of the row text is hidden.

2017-09-08 13:08:19


Thank you for the FREE information. Works!

2016-05-19 20:08:51

This doesn\'t work.

Not in Word 2010 at least

2016-02-18 08:56:18

Ben O\'Driscoll

Very useful exactly what I was looking for!

2015-09-06 14:43:48

Benjamin C. Morin

Sometimes I need to let a long table spill onto another page. If I don't want the last row of the table to split at all, I control the entire row manually and place it at the top of the next page. I place the insertion point at the beginning of the text in the row and press "Control + Enter" to create a new page. This moves the entire row that is splitting from the bottom of the previous page and moves it to the top of the next page. So, you may want to repeat the header row to help the reader move from one page to the next easily.

I hope this helps.


2015-04-29 09:18:45


This doesn't always work. For example if the first column has 2 rows, and the 2nd column has only 1 row, Word will happily split the single cell that is the only row in the 2nd column

2013-01-02 05:25:39

Peter Johnson

Although this works it has one big drawback. Word decides where to break the row. When it does this the widow and orphan control does not work as it does in the main body text. You can easily end up with one line (or even word) over the page. For this reason I prefer to take control myself. I always keep the "Allow row break across pages" box un-ticked.
When a row is too big and needs to be split the question to ask is "where best to split it". The technique is simple.
1. Insert a new row below the long one.
2. Highlight the overflow text that you want on the next page and cut it from the cell.
3. Go to the next (new empty) row and paste the text back in.
4. With "Allow row break across pages" box un-ticked for both rows Word now puts the page break where you want it - i.e. in the best place.
However, you have introduced a new row and hence a new horizontal line. You don't want this fortunately it is quickly removed.
a) Highlight both rows
b) Right click and choose “Borders and Shading…”
c) On the Borders tab in the dialogue box click on the Custom button (the bottom one).
d) On the Preview pane click on the inner horizontal border icon. As soon as you do this the horizontal line will disappear from the preview.
e) Click OK to apply this change to your table.

Job done. The row is now split where you want it and if you change the document again should it then fit on the same page you will not have a horizontal border where you don't want one.

2012-12-31 03:05:26

Jean Gerrekens

Interesting tip. What I usually do to keep the whole table on the same page: select the whole table but the last cell, then via "format paragraph", check "keep together" and "keep with next". If the table is too long to fit on a lsingel page, I check "repeat as header row..." so at least you can see on each page what the columns' contents are.

2012-12-30 09:53:05

Surendera M. Bhanot

This tip is good when the contents in the rows are small.

Otherwise, I use to split the table at the row whare it breaks into other pages, after the document has been finalised and then strech the bottom line of the table to the end of page. Then Select the entire table and use the tool "Distribute Rows" on the "Layout" Tab in the "Table Tool" menu in the ribbon.

2012-12-30 08:45:20

Sandy Sauters-Hall

I like this tip, I even think it will be easy to remember where to find this handy tool. I am forever reformatting the size of the table, the size of the font and I even change the words (add or delete) to make sure the row doesn't break at the end of a page! So you know I love this tip.

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