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: Heading Changes for Multi-page Tables.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 5, 2019)
Craig has numerous tables in a document that extend over two or more pages. Word allows for repeating rows to act as headers, but Craig would like the headers which appear on pages after the first page to have the word "Continued" or some other indication in the table name. For example, the first row has the table name "Table 3: Site Locations Sampled" and the second row would have the column titles. When the table is split between pages, Craig would like it to say "Table 3 continued: Site Locations Sampled" or something similar.
There is no way to do this easily in Word. The reason is that Word views repeating table heads as "static" and beyond change. Even if you try to add a conditional field in the heading (one that compares the current page number to the first page and then changes results accordingly), Word basically ignores the field. Why? Because repeating table headings appear to completely ignore pagination in a document.
One workaround is to "fudge" your headings in the following manner:
As your table grows, the heading will appear on the secondary pages, including the "continued" notation. It doesn't appear on the first page because it is obscured by the textbox or rectangle. The textbox or rectangle doesn't appear on secondary pages because it is anchored to the paragraph just before the table, not to the heading.
This workaround works properly only if you have the "continued" wording at the end of the heading. If you have it in the middle of the heading (as in "Table 3 continued: Site Locations Sampled"), then covering the word "continued" would leave a gap on the first page's table heading—probably something you don't want.
In like manner, if your table heading is centered or right justified, rather than left justified, this tip will create an unbalanced or unjustified header. Any centered text will appear off center in the first instance and a gap will be left in a right-justified header. You can avoid this by having "continued" placed on the line below.
If you plan on populating a list of tables with the headers, you'll need to use the same textbox method to cover the table name in that list, otherwise "continued" will show up in the list, which you probably wouldn't want. You can also try using different styles to avoid this, as well.
Another option that will work—particularly if your document largely consists of only the table—is to put the table heading into the actual page header, and make sure that there is no page header for the first page. This may take some experimenting to make sure that the page heading and the table columns line up properly and that there are no gaps, but it could work if your table heading needs are not terribly complex.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10474) 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: Heading Changes for Multi-page Tables.
Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!
Those familiar with styles are used to setting vertical spacing before or after paragraphs. You can get just the look you ...Discover More
If you've adjusted the height of your table and the rows within the table, you might want to later return all those rows ...Discover More
Want to add a border diagonally, through the middle of a table cell? It's easy if you follow the formatting steps ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.