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Table Header Rows after a Manual Page Break

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Table Header Rows after a Manual Page Break.

Ed had his table set up the way he wanted, with a couple of rows repeated at the top of each page. He ran into a problem, however, when he inserted a manual page break in the middle of the table. When he did, the formerly repeating rows no longer repeated at the top of the table.

The reason for this is rather simple—when you insert a page break into a table you are, in reality, splitting the table into two separate tables. The rows that were repeating are no longer in the new table, but in the original table.

To get around this problem, don't insert a manual page break in the table to force a row to a new page. Instead, use this formatting approach:

  1. Put the insertion point at the beginning of the row that you want on the new page.
  2. Choose Paragraph from the Format menu. Word displays the Paragraph dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Line and Page Breaks tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Line and Page Breaks tab of the Paragraph dialog box.

  5. Select the Page Break Before check box.
  6. Click on OK.

Now the row will always start at the beginning of a new page, your table is not "broken" into two parts, and your desired rows will still repeat at the top of each page.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3504) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Table Header Rows after a Manual Page Break.

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Comments for this tip:

Susan Stromer    14 Dec 2016, 17:05
Can you help me with the issues?

1. I have a document with a number of tables. I went through and selected the "Page Break Before check box" for those tables that needed it. Everything was looking great until I got to one of the last tables. Instead of inserting a single page break before the selected row, Word inserted a page break before every row in the table. Tried to figure out what made that table different from the others and came up empty handed. Any idea why this happened? Advice on fixing? I ended up splitting the table, but I hate inconsistent formatting.

2. I have one table with several paragraphs and bullet points within a single cell. The cell is to big to insert a page break where the row starts but I do want to keep all lines within each bullet point together. One of the bullet points has widowed/orphaned line that I can't seem to correct. I tried checking the widow/orphan control check box and the "keep lines together" check box but nothing worked. I ended up just hitting enter until the paragraph started on the next page, but I don't like doing that. How can I fix?
Jules    06 Dec 2016, 15:55
An excellent tip, but it might be worth bearing in mind that in many cases the reason you want to put a page break in a table is simply to make sure that a certain group of rows stay on the same page ... in which case, the better option is to select the contents of all of those rows except the last, then use the "Keep with next" option on the same dialog. That way, if you change something above and they start fitting at the bottom of the page you're moving them from, they will move up into the space you've left.
TJA    02 Jun 2016, 10:37
Thank you so much - this had been driving me mad trying to find a solution.

Worked a treat in Office 10
Jeremy    09 May 2016, 20:14
Awesome! Thanks.
Devkant Gandhi    04 Feb 2016, 11:30
Exactly what I needed. Very clear instructions. Thank you
jahooper    30 Nov 2015, 14:44
Worked perfectly in Word 2010! Thanks.
Angie    12 Nov 2015, 10:56
Thank you! This is all I wanted to do with my table, and it worked beautiful. You are the best! :) :) :)
CJ Shank    18 May 2015, 13:30
Can't get it to work in Word 2010.
Tracy Adams    13 Apr 2015, 20:39
No it doesn't work!
It worked once and then it stopped    12 Mar 2015, 07:51
I had it working but when trying to repeat it gave the message "indent size to long". Any thoughts?
anonymous    07 Feb 2015, 16:18
Thank you. Solved a problem with a resume template.
Lillian Rangel    26 Nov 2014, 15:39
Wonderful!!!!! This saves me soooooo much time! It's a fantastic way to create Validation protocols. So, why doesn't Microsoft highlight this?
Katie    21 Nov 2014, 17:25
Thank you so much! Great tip!
Peter Ward    28 Aug 2014, 22:11
Fantastic to finally find out how to do this, thanks.
Spyros    05 Aug 2014, 10:06
Thanks, Allen, for the helpful tip.
I ran to a rather different problem with word 2002. I've inserted a big table below my text. The table breaks into two parts. Half of it remains under the text, on the first page, while the other part goes to a new page. Now, I want to 'glue' the two parts together on the next page.To achieve this I've placed my cursor next to the last paragraph sign of my text and pressed ctrl+enter.The first part joins the second, on the next page, but the entire table does not begin at the top of the page. To delete the paragraph at the top of the page I press alt(left)+ctrl+enter. This command deletes paragraph, but I'm wondering if this is the correct command to achieve this? Please help.
Bob Aikenhead    08 Apr 2014, 04:35
A truly excellent tip (and like many of Alan's tips enables one to achieve what many other sources say can't be done !!!)

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