Table Rows Truncated in Printout

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 23, 2021)

William has a multi-row table in his document. He adjusted the height of the rows so that they look the way he wants. When William looks at the document in Print Preview, everything looks fine. However, when he prints the document, the bottom portion of each row is chopped off. He doesn't understand why the table looks fine on the screen and in Print Preview, but doesn't print correctly.

The very first thing to figure out in any problem such as this is whether the problem is related to the printer or to something on your system. You can do that by trying these troubleshooting steps:

  • If you have more than one printer available through your system, try printing to the different printer.
  • Try printing to a PDF file instead of to your printer. See if the problem is evident in the PDF file itself. Don't judge based on printing the PDF, as a problem with the printer could cause the same problem with the PDF that you saw with the Word file.
  • Take the document to a friend's or coworker's computer and trying printing it from there, as long as the friend or coworker are printing to a different printer than you are. (You can even run down to your local print shop and trying printing from there.)

If the problem goes away in any of these situations, the problem was with the printer. You can probably fix the problem by updating the printer driver. If you are using the latest printer driver, then it could be that your printer is substituting fonts as it prints, and the substitution is causing the problem.

Once you've determined that the problem is not with the printer, then you can start fiddling with the document to get the expected output. There are three things you can try—font, paragraph, and row formatting.

First, try changing the font in the table to something different and rather bland, such as Times New Roman or Arial. If you can print these with no problem, then the issue may be either with the printer (again, having to do with font substitution) or a problem with the font you are using. (Some fonts can be rather esoteric, and if they are not correctly defined by whoever made the font, they may not print correctly.)

Next, take a look at the paragraph formatting for the contents of the table cells. Check to make sure the line spacing is set as you expect. You can also adjust the space after the paragraph, which should adjust the space after the text within each cell.

Finally, take a look at your actual table row formatting. You can try adjusting the row height, making it a bit higher. You can also adjust the Vertical Alignment of the text within the row by selecting the row (or table) and choosing Properties from the Table Layout tab of the ribbon and then making adjustments on the Cell tab of the dialog box. As you are adjusting the Vertical Alignment, you might also adjust the margins by clicking the Options link (on the Cell tab) and, on the resulting dialog box, forcing a larger bottom margin for the cell.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9982) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

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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