Fit a table to the page in Microsoft Word

Tables in Microsoft Word can be incredibly useful for a variety of things. They take care of basic data alignment, organizing rows, columns and even the layout of whole sentences or images. The latter is especially useful when using a landscape page layout.

If you are more familiar with Microsoft Word than Excel or Google Sheetswe can show you how to modify tables within the program.

Follow the tutorial below for a quick lesson on how to make your tables fit properly in Word without any complications.

Customize a table for Office 2011

For those of you who still enjoy Office 2011:

Resize a table

  1. Click on the Vision tab and select from the menu ribbon print layout or Publish Layout.
    Screen Shot 2020 11 02 at 11 17 37 AM
  2. Click on the table you want to resize and place your cursor in the lower right corner of the table until the diagonal arrow icon Table Format Cursor appears.
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  3. Extend the table boundary until the table is the desired size.

How to change the ride height

  1. Click on the Vision tab and select from the menu ribbon print layout or Publish Layout.
    Screen Shot 2020 11 02 at 11 17 37 AM 1
  2. Click on the table you want to adjust and place your cursor on the row boundary until the Horizontal split arrow icon appears.
  3. Drag the row boundary until it reaches the desired height.

Change the column width

  1. Click on the Vision tab and select from the menu ribbon print layout or Publish Layout.
    Screen Shot 2020 11 02 at 11 17 37 AM 2
  2. Click on the table you want to modify and place your cursor on the column boundary until the Vertical split arrow icon appears.
  3. Drag the column boundary until it reaches the desired width.

Create multiple rows or columns of the same size

  1. Select the columns or rows you want to adjust and click the Table layout tab.
  2. Below the Cell Size section, click Divide rows or Distribute Columns.
    Screen Shot 2020 11 02 at 11 49 04 AM

Customize a table for newer versions of Microsoft Office

For those of you keeping your Microsoft Office up to date after 2011, the only major difference is the ability to adjust column and row size directly in the ribbon.

  1. Just click on your table and new tabs will appear along with the standard tabs.
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  2. By clicking Designthe ribbon offers different ways to style your table.
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  3. By clicking Layoutthe ribbon allows for size adjustments.
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  4. To resize individually chosen columns or rows, click the cell and then adjust the height and width in the ribbon by clicking the up or down arrows next to the corresponding adjustment. You can also manually type the length if you want.
  5. To resize multiple rows or columns, select the columns and click Distribute Columns or select the rows and click Divide rows.
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How to use Auto-Fit to automatically resize the table

  1. Click on your table and select AutoAdjust in the Layout tab.
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  2. AutoFit offers two options. To automatically adjust the column width, choose Automatically adjust content. This will fit all of your columns into the text, or if the cells are empty, the page margins. To automatically fit the table width to the text, choose AutoFit Window.
    Screen Shot 2020 11 02 at 11 58 22 AM
  3. To turn off AutoAdjustTo elect Fixed column width from the available options.

How to change the space in the table?

cell margins and spacing

Adjusting the cell margins or spacing is the best way to add space in your table. The image shows the cell margins marked with a blue arrow and the cell spacing marked as orange.

To adjust the margins or gaps:

  1. Mark your table and click Cell margins in the Layout tab.
    Screen Shot 2020 11 02 at 11 49 04 AM 2
  2. Within the Table Options box, adjust the measurements accordingly.
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How to keep your table on one page

More complex Word documents may require additional tables. Normally, tables are quite small and can easily fit on a single page. For the longer tables, seeing a page break in the middle of the table can be irritating.

To avoid this annoyance:

  1. Select all rows in the table and click the Line spacing button in the House tab.
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  2. To elect Line Spacing Options from the drop-down list.
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  3. Click on the Line and page breaks tab and make sure the Stay with next and Keep lines together box is checked.
  4. Click Okay.

You must repeat these steps for each table with one minor change. When marking the table, DO NOT mark the last row. This is a necessary step to ensure that the table remains intact. Do not forget it!

Fit a table on one page Office 10

Many users are still using Microsoft Office 10, the rules are very similar to the ones above with a few simple tweaks. After opening the desired Word document, go to the “Layout” tab at the top of the screen. If it doesn’t show up; First click in the table.

  1. Click Layout after clicking in the table.
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  2. Click AutoAdjust is located in the ribbon at the top.
    Screen Shot 2020 11 02 at 3 21 07 PM
  3. A drop-down list will appear, click Automatically adjust content.
    Screen Shot 2020 11 02 at 3 22 23 PM

Other than that, the two are incredibly similar, so you can follow the steps above for Office 10 and 11.

Microsoft Word Table Templates

Microsoft does provide some useful table templates for users. From calendars to invoices, you might find the perfect table without all the work. To set up a template, do the following:

  1. Open Microsoft Office and click File in the top left corner. Password Protect a PDF File on Windows 10 Using Microsoft Word 2 1
  2. click on New from template.
  3. Navigate to the top right corner and click in the Search bar and type in the desired keywords; “Table” “Invoice” “Calendar” “Table of Contents” or even “Menu”
  4. From the available list, select the template that best fits the objectives of your document.

Once you’ve done this, the table will appear in the Word document. Then all you need to do is add the necessary content to the pre-populated fields.

Download Templates

More templates are available on the online Microsoft Store and various websites. If the ones on the list don’t meet your needs; you can download the perfect template for your table in Office.

  1. Depending on which site you get the template from, just follow the instructions provided. When saving, change the location of the file in Word on your computer.
  2. Once the download is complete, open a new Word document and click New from template. Click on the downloaded template and it will appear.

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