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Limiting Lines in a Table Cell

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: Limiting Lines in a Table Cell.

Maria has a table that she doesn't want to extend past three lines vertically in any given cell. She wonders if there is a way to lock how many lines there can be in any given cell of a table.

Normally the height of a row (which, of course, controls the height of cells in that row) can vary from row to row. Word does this so that whatever you place in the row can be fully accommodated by the table. There may be times when you don't want the row to expand, but instead you want the row to be a specific height.

Here's how you can set the row height to only allow three lines of text:

  1. Select the entire table. (Position the insertion point within the table and choose Select Table from the Table menu.)
  2. Right-click the selected table and then choose Table Properties from the Context menu. Word displays the Table Properties dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Row tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Row tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  5. In the Specify Height box, indicate how high you want each row. (For three lines of 12-point type, you should specify one half of an inch.)
  6. Using the Row Height Is drop-down list, choose Exactly.
  7. Click OK.

Now your row height will never go above whatever you set in step 4.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8133) 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: Limiting Lines in a Table Cell.

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