Resizing Very Large Tables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 12, 2018)

1

Sometimes when Len copies and pastes a table from one document to another the table exceeds the width of the page, sometimes by a very large amount. He wonders if there is a good, easy way to resize the large table so that it fits within the margins of the document into which he pasted it.

There are a couple of approaches you can use to get your table back in control. The first (and perhaps easiest) is to simply click anywhere within any visible portion of the table. Word should display two new ribbon tabs: Design and Layout. Click on the Layout tab, click the AutoFit tool, and then choose AutoFit Window. Word makes sure that the table fits within the margins of the page.

Another way to accomplish the same task is to click the small square that appears at the upper-left corner of the table. (This small square has a four-headed arrow within it, and clicking it once selects the entire table.) Right-click within the table to display a Context menu. Choose AutoFit and then AutoFit Window.

Finally, another option is to right-click within the table to display a Context menu. Choose Table Properties and Word displays the Table Properties dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Table tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

On the Table tab of the dialog box, set the Preferred width to 100%. When you click OK, the table is snapped back into the page margins.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12585) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Maintaining Formatting when Inserting Documents

Word allows you to easily insert the contents of one document into another. Doing so, however, may result in unintended ...

Discover More

Setting Vertical Alignment

Excel allows you to adjust not only the horizontal alignment of values in a cell, but also the vertical alignment. This ...

Discover More

Making PROPER Skip Certain Words

The PROPER worksheet function is used to change the case of text so that only the first letter of each word is uppercase. ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Freezing Cell Size when Inserting Pictures

Insert a picture into a table cell, and you may quickly find that the table is no longer the size you expected. Here's ...

Discover More

Converting Text Into a Table

Need a block of text to appear in a table? Word can do the conversion for you very quickly.

Discover More

Centering a Table

Left-justified tables are great for many document designs, but you may want instead to center a table between the margins ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three more than 1?

2013-04-13 15:08:42

Surendera M. Bhanot

Very good for the people like me who use tables a lot. What I use to do was to shift to the Draft View and than drag the rightest border of the table withing the page margin, by adjusting other columns too, if required.


This Site

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.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.