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Taming Word Tables

Here are some tips that will save you time and lessen frustration when working with Word tables.

'Snap' Table Columns Back When They Have Disappeared off the Page:
Sometimes table columns will end up disappearing off the page, for example, when you insert a new column or copy from Excel. To quickly readjust the table so that it fits within the page, click the AutoFit button in the Table Tools > Layout tab and select AutoFit Window (version 2007 and later) or click the Table menu > AutoFit > AutoFit to Window (version 2003)

Quickly Select an Entire Table:
Point anywhere inside the table and click the move handle (1 below) and drag.

Clear Table Contents:
Select the table by clicking the move handle (1) below and hit the Delete key.

Delete a Table:
Select the table by clicking the move handle (1) below and hit Backspace key.

Resize the Entire Table:
Point anywhere inside the table and point to the sizing handle (2 below). Drag the double-headed arrow left, right, up or down. Columns and rows will resize proportionally.

Add Text Above a Table:
If a table is at the very top of your document and you'd like to add text above it, click in the upper-left cell in the first row and hit Enter. If you have text in the cell, position the cursor to the left of the text first. This is the shortcut key for splitting the table, which you can also do by clicking anywhere in the first table row and then click the Split Table button in the Table Tools > Layout tab (version 2007 and higher) or Table menu > Split Table (version 2003).

Resize Only One Column:
Hold down Shift as you drag to resize the column. All columns to the right will maintain their width.

Resize a Column, Adjusting Columns to the Right Proportionally:
Hold down Ctrl as you drag to resize the column. All columns to the right will adjust proportionally, without changing the table width

Resize a Column, Adjusting all Columns to the Right Equally:
Hold down Ctrl + Shift as you drag to resize the column. The width of the column to the left will change and all columns to the right will resize equally without changing the table width.

Display Column Width when Resizing:
For more precision, hold down Alt as you drag to resize a column to view the column width value in the ruler that appears above the table.



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