Changing Table Structure: MS Word

Dennis Faas's picture

Once you've begun a table, you can easily change its structure. You can change the width of the columns to fit the text, and you can also insert, delete and rearrange the rows and columns any way you like.

Even though you established the overall table structure when you first created it, you may find that more or fewer columns or rows are needed after you start entering text. It would be a real pain if you had to delete the table and start all over again just because you needed to rearrange or restructure.

Luckily, Word gives you great flexibility in modifying the table structure.

Change Column Width

You can use any of these methods to change the width of a column.

  • Drag a table column marker on the ruler.
  • Drag the guidelines of the table when you see the two-headed arrow mouse pointer.
  • Choose Table | Table Properties and then click the Column tab to show the dialog box.
  • Choose Table | AutoFit to Contents. This selection causes the width of the columns to adjust themselves to be the best width for the text in the cells.

If AutoFit is active, the widths of the columns continually adjust themselves as you add and delete text.

The ruler shows indentation triangles between the column markers. You can indent the text within a cell by dragging these triangles, just as you do standard paragraphs.

I'll tell you how to insert rows and columns and move them in an upcoming article.

Visit Carol's web site to learn more tips like this one!

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