Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Blank Lines before Tables.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 14, 2020)
If you want to place a blank line before a table, exactly how you do so depends on where the table is located in your document. This may sound strange, but it seems to be the way that Word just works. If the table is the very first thing in the document, all you need to do is press Ctrl+Home to position the insertion point at the left side of the first cell of the table. Then press Enter. Word places a blank line before the table.
This only works if the table is the first thing in the document. If you try this with a table that is anywhere else in a document, Word simply adds a new paragraph within the first cell of the table. To place a new blank line before the table, you must move to the end of the paragraph just before the table and press Enter. (You aren't pressing Enter in the table; you are pressing it just before the table.)
The upshot of this behavior is that if you want a new paragraph within the first cell of a table, and the table is at the very beginning of the document, you can't get it by pressing Enter, or other combinations of Enter such as Alt+Enter or Ctrl+Enter. Instead, you must either copy the paragraph mark to the cell from a different location, or you can follow these steps:
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13091) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Blank Lines before Tables.
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