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Microsoft Word 2003/2004

Resizing Table Elements

As you create your table, Word may assign default dimensions to rows, columns, and cells, which may or may not suit your purposes. This document explains how to resize various table elements.

return to topAdding and Deleting Rows and Columns

It is common to add or delete rows and columns to your table, especially if you do not know initially what information you need, or if you want to add to the table later.

Adding Rows

To add a row at the end of a table:

  1. Place your insertion point in the last cell (last row, last column)

  2. Press [Tab]

To add a row within the table:

  1. Place your insertion point in a cell above or below where you want to add a row

  2. From the Table menu, select Insert »  Rows Above or Rows Below

Deleting Rows

  1. Place your insertion point in the row to be deleted

  2. From the Table menu, select Delete » Rows
    The row and all of its contents are deleted.

Adding Columns

To add a column at the end of the table:

  1. Place your insertion point in the last column

  2. From the Table menu, select Insert » Columns to the Right

To add a column within the table:

  1. Place your insertion point in the column beside where you want to add a column 

  2. From the Table menu, select Insert » Columns to the Left or Columns to the Right

Deleting Columns

  1. Place your insertion point in the column to be deleted

  2. From the Table menu, select Delete » Columns
    The column and all of its contents are deleted.
    NOTE: After deleting a column, you may want to resize your table to fit in the document.

return to topAdjusting Column and Row Sizes

When a table is initially created, all columns have equal column widths. Depending on what you are doing, this may or may not be appropriate. If you do need to adjust column widths, you may do so using the Ruler or the Table Properties dialog box available from the Table menu.

Adjusting Column and Row Sizes: Ruler Option

To display the Ruler:

  1. From the View menu, select Ruler

To adjust column width:

  1. Place the insertion point within the column you want to adjust

  2. Click and hold the table border between the columns you want to adjust
    OR
    On the horizontal ruler, click and hold the MOVE TABLE COLUMN icon
    Your pointer turns into a double arrow.

    Windows:
    Move Table Column icon
    Macintosh:
    Move Table Column icon
  3. Drag the table border or the MOVE TABLE COLUMN icon to the desired location

  4. Release the mouse button

To adjust row height:

HINTS:
When adjusting row height with the Ruler, only the row border you move will change size.
Windows: You must be in Print Layout view to adjust the row height from the Ruler line. 
To access this view, from the View menu, select Print Layout.
Macintosh: You must be in Page Layout view to adjust the row height from the Ruler line. 
To access this view, from the View menu, select Page Layout.

  1. Place the insertion point within the table

  2. Click and hold the table border between the appropriate rows
    OR
    On the vertical Ruler, click and hold the ADJUST TABLE ROW icon
    Your pointer turns into a double arrow.

    Windows:
    Adjust Table Row image
    Macintosh:
    Adjust Table Row image
  3. Drag the table border or the ADJUST TABLE ROW icon to the desired location

  4. Release the mouse button

Adjusting Column and Row Sizes: Menu Option

To adjust column width:

  1. Place the insertion point within the column you want to adjust

  2. From the Table menu, select Table Properties...
    The Table Properties dialog box appears.
    Table Properties dialog box, Column tab

  3. Select the Column tab

  4. Select Preferred width

  5. In the Preferred width text box, type or use the nudge buttons for the desired column width

  6. OPTIONAL: From the Measure in pull-down list, select a measurement unit

  7. OPTIONAL: To change the width of another column, click PREVIOUS COLUMN or NEXT COLUMN until the column number is correct and repeat steps 4-5

  8. Click OK

To adjust row height:

  1. Place the insertion point within the row you want to adjust

  2. From the Table menu, select Table Properties...
    The Table Properties dialog box appears.
    Table Properties dialog box, Row tab

  3. Select the Row tab

  4. Select Specify height

  5. In the Specify height text box, type or use the nudge button for the desired row height

  6. From the Row height is pull-down list, select At least or Exactly

  7. OPTIONAL: To change the height of another row, click PREVIOUS ROW or NEXT ROW until the row number is correct and repeat steps 4 and 5

  8. Click OK

return to topMerging and Splitting Cells

Depending on the setup of your information, you may want to combine two cells. The most common use of combining cells is for column headings. You can merge cells horizontally or vertically.

HINTS:
To avoid having to redo your table headings, use the merge and split features as the final step in formatting your table.
If there is text in more than one of the cells being merged, the text from each cell will be separated by paragraphs in the resulting cell.

Merging Cells: Menu Option

  1. Select the cells you want to merge
    Select Cells

  2. From the Table menu, select Merge Cells
    Merged Cells

Merging Cells: Toolbar Option

The following instructions assume that the Tables and Borders toolbar is displayed. If not, refer to Displaying the Tables and Borders Toolbar.

  1. Select the cells you want to merge

  2. On the Tables and Borders toolbar, click MERGE CELLSMerge Cells button

Splitting Cells: Menu Option

If necessary, you can divide a cell into two or more cells.

HINT: Word will attempt to divide any text in the cell evenly based on the number of paragraphs.

  1. Select the cell you want to split
    Select Cell

  2. From the Table menu, select Split Cells...
    The Split Cells dialog box appears.
    Split Cells dialog box

  3. In the Number of columns and/or Number of rows boxes, type or use the nudge buttons for the desired number of rows and/or columns

  4. Click OK
    Split Cell

Splitting Cells: Toolbar Option

The following instructions assume that the Tables and Borders toolbar is displayed. If not, refer to Displaying the Tables and Borders Toolbar.

  1. Select the cell you want to split

  2. On the Tables and Borders toolbar, click SPLIT CELLSSplit Cells button
    The Split Cells dialog box appears.

  3. In the Number of columns and/or Number of rows boxes, type or use the nudge buttons for the desired number of rows and/or columns

  4. Click OK

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