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: Moving a Table Column.

Moving a Table Column

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 3, 2016)


After creating a table to hold data in your document, you may have a need to reorganize the table. One common way of reorganizing is to move columns so that they are in a different order than they were originally. Here's the general process for moving columns:

  1. Select the column you want to move.
  2. Press Ctrl+X or click on the Cut tool on the Home tab of the ribbon. This removes the column from the table and places it in the Clipboard.
  3. Move the insertion point to the beginning of the top cell of the column before which you want to place the column you just cut.
  4. Press Ctrl+V or click on the Paste tool on the Home tab of the ribbon.

It should be noted that the above steps don't work as expected if you have Track Changes turned on. If you do, then when you attempt step 2 you are told that if you continue, your edit will not be "tracked" (marked). You will then need to make a decision as to whether this is a "deal breaker" on the edit. For most people it probably isn't, since you are going to paste the column elsewhere.

Also, the cut-and-paste approach won't work if you have horizontally merged cells in the table.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11275) 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: Moving a Table Column.

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 5 + 9?

2016-12-07 11:32:00

Joel Bonilla

Awesome contribution to this article, there, Russ!

2016-12-03 11:07:26


Also, to move a ROW up or down, place your cursor in any cell within that Row, press Shift & Alt keys, followed by an Up or Down Arrow Key. This works even if merged cells are involved.

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