Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Quickly Accessing the Column Tab.

Quickly Accessing the Column Tab

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 15, 2014)

3

There are many ways you can adjust column width and other table settings. For precise adjustment of column width, you might want to access the Table Properties dialog box. You can do this quickly in the following manner:

  1. Position the insertion point in any cell of the table.
  2. Using the mouse, point to one of the "dotted boxes" on the ruler. These mark the boundaries of each column in the table. When you position the pointer over the box, the pointer changes to a double-headed arrow.
  3. Double-click the mouse, on the box marker. Word displays the desired dialog box.

There is also an alternative way to access the same dialog box, and you may find it easier to use. You can follow these steps:

  1. Position the mouse pointer right above a column whose width you want to change. The mouse pointer should change to a downward pointing arrow.
  2. Right-click the mouse. The table column is selected and a Context menu appears.
  3. Select Table Properties from the Context menu. The Table Properties dialog box appears, from which you can easily select the Column tab. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Table Properties dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13311) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Quickly Accessing the Column Tab.

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

Copying Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting is a great feature in Excel. Here's how you can copy conditional formats from one cell to another ...

Discover More

Calculating Weekend Dates

Do you look forward to the weekend? Well, you can use Excel to let you know when the next weekend begins. Here's how you ...

Discover More

Independent Radio Buttons

Radio buttons are great for some data collection purposes. They may not be that great for some purposes, however, for the ...

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)

Summing a Table Column

Need to add a sum to a column of figures in a table? Word makes it relatively easy to provide the sum you need.

Discover More

Creating and Using Standardized Tables

If you have a common table layout that you want to use again and again, you'd benefit by having an easy way to save that ...

Discover More

Keeping Table Rows Together

When you create a table that extends beyond a single page, you may want to make sure that the information in a table row ...

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 one less than 3?

2014-11-17 13:39:56

John Feiler

The easiest way I have found to vary the column width is by clicking on the "dotted" lines and pressing the ALT key. You can vary widths/heights by 1/100" increments.


2014-11-15 11:21:26

Mary Bohnsack

One more option:
1-Highlight the column you wish to modify
2-Place cursor over the margin you wish to move. It will become a cross.
3-Hold down left clicker and drag margin either direction.


2014-11-15 08:20:51

Damear

There's one more way (that is actually a legacy inherited from older Word versions): Press Alt, A, R (that's an equivalent for selecting Table - Properties in the menu). Though this is less intuitive, I find it handy when I don't want to move my hands away from keyboard to the mouse.


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.