Resizing Very Large Tables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 12, 2018)


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, and 2013.

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 six more than 8?

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.

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