10 Word Table Secrets

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4. Make All Table Rows of Equal Height

The Distribute Rows Evenly command makes all selected rows the same height; it also forces the table to consume a larger amount of space.
If a table has all of the same type of data in it, you might want to format it to make the rows the same height. If you wish, start by dragging the bottom border of the table to the position where the table should end. For example, you could drag the bottom border up until it’s just above the footer area, so that the table will fill the page. Alternatively, you could drag the bottom border down a little to make the table a bit larger, so that you have some extra space that you can use to resize the rows.

Now select the entire table or a series of rows, and make them all the same height by right-clicking and choosing Distribute Rows Evenly. Word will adjust each selected row, and the table will consume the entire area down to where you dragged its bottom border. You can render selected columns of equal width using a similar process.

5. Break a Table in Two or Fuse Two Tables Together

Here I selected the last two rows of the top table and pressed Shift-Alt-Down Arrow to split them off to form a second, new table.
When you want to break a table into two pieces, either by splitting it at a certain row or by removing a few rows and making a new table from them, you can use a handy keystroke. Start by selecting all the rows that you want to move to a second table, and then press Shift-Alt-Down Arrow (or Shift-Alt-Up Arrow, depending on the direction you want to move in) to start moving the selected rows through the table. As soon as the rows reach the top (or bottom) of the table, they’ll break away and form a second, independent table.

Likewise, to fuse two tables into one, you can select all the rows in one table and press Shift-Alt-Up Arrow or Shift-Alt-Down Arrow to move the rows up or down until they join up with another table.

6. Place Two Tables Side by Side

You can place tables side by side by creating one or both in a text box. Or, you can fake it by making a single table with one empty column to separate the data.
Word offers several ways to position two tables side by side on a page. If you need the tables to be formatted differently, create one or both inside a text box (because tables inside text boxes can sit anywhere on a page). To place a table in a text box, click Insert > Text Box > Draw Text Box, and draw a text box in the document. Click inside the box and add the table by clicking Insert > Table. You can remove the text-box border by clicking the text box, choosing Drawing Tools > Format > Shape Outline, and selecting No Outline. If you are having trouble placing a text box beside an existing table or beside another text box, click each text box in turn and choose Drawing Tools > Format tab > Wrap Text > In Front of Text.

Alternatively, if the two tables can share a general layout in terms of row height, you can create them as a single table and then place an empty column in the middle to provide visual separation.

7. Add an Image Inside a Table Cell

You can place an image inside a table cell so that it does not move. To do this, click in the table cell, choose Insert > Picture or Insert > Clip Art, and select the image to use. The default Word image format is In Line With Text, so the picture should stay in place; you'll simply need to resize it to fit it inside the table cell. If the image is not stuck in the table cell, click it, choose Picture Tools > Format, and in the Wrap Text list choose In Line With Text.

8. Make Smart Headings for Narrow Columns

Rotate the text in narrow cells so that you can type the column headings in full and make them easy to read.
When you create a table with lots of columns, the columns could become extremely narrow in order to fit within the document’s margins. If you use long strings of text for column headings, they might become hyphenated beyond comprehension, or even truncated. The solution is to rotate that text. Select the cells containing the column headings, and choose Table Tools > Layout. Select Text Direction from the Alignment options, and click until the Ribbon image displays the text oriented in the appropriate direction (typically, pointing up). Now type the text into the heading cells in the table, and it will rotate and fit much better.

Next Page: Convert a Table to Text, and Vice Versa

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