Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Cannot Set Heading Rows in a Table.

Cannot Set Heading Rows in a Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 9, 2015)

2

Sandra has a table that spans several pages. When she designates the first row as the "Heading Row," Word tags ALL the rows as heading rows. If she then deselects "Heading Row" (on any row, whether the first row or not), ALL the rows are deselected.

This obviously is not normal behavior for Word. If you select a row or two and indicate that those rows should be treated as heading rows, Word should repeat only those rows at the top of each page. The only condition that might explain this behavior is if the table is nested inside another table. You can't successfully set heading rows on individual rows of a table that is within another table.

If this is the case, then the solution is to "unnest" the tables. You need to copy the inner table, paste it into an area of the document that is outside of any other tables, and then get rid of the outer table. You should then be able to format the heading rows as desired.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11998) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Cannot Set Heading Rows in a Table.

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 five more than 4?

2015-04-10 02:13:09

Shanker

Hi Dave,

I'm pleased to acknowledge that you have solved one of my vexatious problems I faced in my documentation by sharing your tip.

Thank You!


2015-04-09 07:17:44

Dave Sheppard

The same problem can also occur if you have the whole table selected. Word permits you (under Table Properties) to "Repeat the header row at the top of each page" when you have the whole table selected. This setting has the affect of 'ticking the box' so that when you do select the real header row, it appears to be already selected. In order to overcome this, select the whole table and within Table Properties, un-tick the "Repeat header rows" setting. Then just select it on heading rows you want to repeat.


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