Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Pulling Tables Back Into View.

Pulling Tables Back Into View

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 20, 2018)

2

When you first add a table to your document, Word determines column width by dividing the space available between margins by the number of columns in the table. If you later add a column to the table, the inserted column will push the right edge of the table past the right margin. This may make it difficult to "grab" and resize the right-most column.

There are several ways to deal with this type of situation. For instance, you could change to landscape orientation, adjust the column widths, and then switch back to portrait orientation. Another thing to try is to switch to Normal (or Draft) view, as opposed to Page Layout (or Print Layout) view. This allows you to see the columns that extend past the right margin and make any adjustments.

If you want to adjust all the columns so everything fits as well as possible, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the entire table is selected.
  2. Right-click anywhere within the selected table. Word displays a Context menu.
  3. Click on AutoFit. Word displays a submenu.
  4. Within the submenu, choose AutoFit to Contents.

The result is that Word adjusts your table so as much of each column is as visible as possible, within the limits of the page margins and according to how much information is in each column. This can sound confusing, and the effects are best understood by trying out the feature with different types of information in your table. If the table is empty, each column is made as narrow as possible, and you end up with a "scrunched" table. If there is information in the table, then each column is made as wide as possible to display all the information in that column. If the table is still too wide, Word narrows the widest columns, thereby wrapping the contents of those columns, until it can fit everything.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6054) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Pulling Tables Back Into View.

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

Selecting Default Paragraph Formatting

Want to return a paragraph's formatting back to it's pristine, unaltered state? You can do so by using the shortcut ...

Discover More

Printing a File List

It is often helpful to have a list of all the documents in a given directory or folder. Word doesn't have a built-in way ...

Discover More

Setting the AutoRecover Directory

Excel, by default, periodically writes information to AutoRecover files that can help protect your data in case Excel is ...

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)

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. ...

Discover More

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 ...

Discover More

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 ...

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 2 + 3?

2018-10-22 05:43:14

Richard Price

@Galen: you may not have responded to the article that you intended to, since the above article about table formatting doesn't mention Advanced Find. However, I think the answer to your question is: in the "Customize the Quick Access Toolbar" dialogue, change the "Choose commands from" dropdown to select "All Commands". Scroll down and you will see three commands all called Find (plus three more starting with Find). You have to hover your cursor over these to find out which is which, but the one reported as "Home Tab | Editing | Find (FindDialog)" is probably the one you want.


2018-10-21 11:49:14

Galen

Thanks for telling us where to find Advanced Find. The 2010+ ^F find often smashes my text out of view, and it cannot do very much, aside from listing found instances. I would like to have an icon for Advanced Find in Quick Access, but have not been able to find Advanced Find in any of the Commands list. Maybe I just could not see it? Meanwhile, I can employ ^H and risk carelessly replacing stuff.


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.