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: Splitting Table Cells.

Splitting Table Cells

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 8, 2014)


You already know how to merge cells within a table. (If you don't know, a quick search at the WordTips site will reveal the information you need.) Once cells have been merged, you can later split them apart using many of the same methods you used to merge them in the first place. Here's an easy way to do the splitting:

  1. Right-click the previously merged cell.
  2. Choose Split Cells from the resulting Context menu. Word displays the Split Cells dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Split Cells dialog box.

  4. Using the controls in the dialog box, specify the number of columns and rows into which the merged cells should be split.
  5. Click OK.

After you split the cells, the cell widths may be off a bit from the other cells in the table, and you may need to readjust them.

You can also split previously merged cells by using the tools on the ribbon in this manner:

  1. Display the Design tab of the ribbon. (This tab is only visible if the insertion point is somewhere within a table.)
  2. Click the Draw Table tool in the Draw Borders group. This is the one that looks like a pencil. (In Word 2013 click the Borders tool in the Borders group and then click Draw Table.) The mouse cursor now looks like a pencil.
  3. Use the mouse cursor to draw cell lines in your table. Simply click and drag to draw each new cell line. When you release the mouse button, the cells appear as you have drawn them.
  4. When you are finished drawing, click on the Draw Table tool again or press the Esc key. This turns off the drawing mode.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9387) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Splitting Table Cells.

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?

2015-01-29 17:55:26


Is there a quick key combination that will split the cell at the point the cursor currently is at with content to each side of the cursor going to the respective cell?

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