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: Quickly Accessing the Column Tab.

Quickly Accessing the Column Tab

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 15, 2020)

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, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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

Offering Options in a Macro

When creating macros, you often need to offer a series of choices to a user. This tip demonstrates how easy it is to ...

Discover More

Limits on Path Length in Word

When you organize your hard drive, it is easy to go hog-wild with folders and subfolders. You need to know that how you ...

Discover More

Keeping an Image Centered in a Table Cell

Tables are often used in Word documents to help with page layout. This may lead you to inserting images within the cells ...

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)

Jumping to Tables

If your document contains quite a few tables, you may find it helpful to jump quickly from one table to another. There ...

Discover More

Suppressing a Zero in a Calculated Sum

You can use fields to calculate a sum of values in a table column. Here are two ways you can modify what the fields ...

Discover More

Creating a Split Page

In WordPerfect terminology, a split page allows you to put information side-by-side on opposite halves of the page. If ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 4 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.

Videos
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.