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: Nudging a Table.

Nudging a Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 7, 2017)

9

Ray wonders if there is a way to move an entire Word table vertically, pixel by pixel. Everything he has read indicates that grabbing it and holding the Alt key will allow for that, but it does not work smoothly.

I'm not sure where Ray has been reading, but the Alt key does not allow for nudging tables. In fact, it doesn't seem to work for table movement at all, with one exception—if you press Shift+Alt and then use the up or down arrow keys, the table is moved up or down an entire paragraph in your document.

Other keystroke combinations don't work either. You would think that nudging tables would work as it does for other objects within a document—you select the object and then use the arrow keys to give the nudge. However, it doesn't work with tables at all. If you select the table and then press the up or down arrow keys, then Word deselects the table and moves the insertion point either above or below the table in the document.

There are a couple of workarounds you can use, however. First, you could adjust how you put your tables in the document. Simply put them within a text box, and then you can use the arrow keys to nudge the text box. (You can also format the border on the text box so it doesn't show.)

Another workaround is to use a macro to do the movement. The following macro will move the table a single pixel up:

Sub MoveTableUp1()
' set pxl to the number of pixels to move: positive for down and
'   negative for up
    Const pxl As Single = -1

    If Not Selection.Information(wdWithInTable) Then Exit Sub
    With Selection.Tables(1)
        .Rows.VerticalPosition = .Rows.VerticalPosition + PixelsToPoints(pxl)
    End With
End Sub

All you need to do is make sure that the insertion point is within the table you want to nudge. If you want to move the table down instead of up, simply change the definition of the pxl constant to be a positive 1 instead of a negative 1.

If you prefer, you can move the table a point (1/72 of an inch) at a time. Here's the version of the macro that could handle this movement:

Sub MoveTableUp2()
' set pt to the number of points to move: positive for down and
' negative for up
    Const pt As Single = -1

    If Not Selection.Information(wdWithInTable) Then Exit Sub
    With Selection.Tables(1)
        .Rows.VerticalPosition = .Rows.VerticalPosition + pt
    End With
End Sub

Nudging the table horizontally instead of vertically is simply of matter of using the HorizontalPosition property with the Rows object rather than the VerticalPosition property. You could rather easily create four versions of your macro (for each of the four directions you might want to nudge your table) and then assign shortcut keys to the macros.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12136) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Nudging 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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Comments

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What is 6 - 0?

2017-02-09 15:53:20

Val

@James - Why not just insert a section break that starts on a new page before the table? Then it will always be on a new page.


2017-02-07 08:29:23

Jeff Holden

If you select the table and then place the cursor on it's selection point (the small cross located just outside the top left hand corner) the table can be moved and repositioned as desired.


2016-12-15 19:12:02

James

Hi Allen,

I don't want to nudge a table so much as fix one. It takes quite a bit of time to get some of my tables to fill one page exactly. When I add text before the table, I don't want it to be split over the following page. I would like it to remain intact, and when necessary be nudged to a whole new page, so that it is still a one-page table.

Like many things I read on your site, solutions to such problems are not part of the dialogue box options for the aspect of Word in question.

Thanks in advance.

James


2016-04-22 16:36:11

ashwani garg

the horzizontal prperty for the same is not working.

i am getting an error

"Run Time error '9118'

Parameter value was out of acceptable range."


2012-09-24 14:45:35

Tracy

Sorry, that last post should have started with:

"Alt is used to make tiny adjustments to borders, such as when you have joined two tables and the columns are very slightly misaligned."


2012-09-24 14:44:01

Tracy

Hold Alt and move a border with the mouse to make tiny adjustments with column lines.


2012-09-24 07:32:23

Daniel Szekacs

Thanks for the tip, especially for the Shift+Alt+arrow key combo, it's the fastest way to swap adjacent paragraphs (or table rows!) I've been looking for something like this to replace the good old (but relatively slow) cut&paste method.

Greetings from Hungary


2012-09-23 04:14:37

Surendera M. Bhanot

You can also use the "Table Properties" Dialog Box (by clicking Right Mouse Button any where in the table and selecting the Table properties), one can place table left. right or center of the document and make the text surround the table by using "Alignment" and "Text Wrapping" buttons.


2012-09-22 10:18:00

Fran

You can also move the table by using TABLE - PROPERTIES - TABLE tab - POSITIONING - VERTICAL POSITION.

play around with "move with text" and "overlap" and you have quite a bit of freedom of movement. this enables you to avoid using macros


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