Word.Tips.Net WordTips (Menu Interface)

Nudging a Table

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: Nudging a Table.

Ray wonders if there is a way to move an entire Word table vertically, pixel by pixel. Everything he has read indicates that grabbing it and holding the Alt key will allow for that, but it does not work smoothly.

I'm not sure where Ray has been reading, but the Alt key does not allow for nudging tables. In fact, it doesn't seem to work for table movement at all, with one exception—if you press Shift+Alt and then use the up or down arrow keys, the table is moved up or down an entire paragraph in your document.

Other keystroke combinations don't work either. You would think that nudging tables would work as it does for other objects within a document—you select the object and then use the arrow keys to give the nudge. However, it doesn't work with tables at all. If you select the table and then press the up or down arrow keys, then Word deselects the table and moves the insertion point either above or below the table in the document.

There are a couple of workarounds you can use, however. First, you could adjust how you put your tables in the document. Simply put them within a text box, and then you can use the arrow keys to nudge the text box. (You can also format the border on the text box so it doesn't show.)

Another workaround is to use a macro to do the movement. The following macro will move the table a single pixel up:

Sub MoveTableUp1()
' set pxl to the number of pixels to move: positive for down and
'   negative for up
    Const pxl As Single = -1

    If Not Selection.Information(wdWithInTable) Then Exit Sub
    With Selection.Tables(1)
        .Rows.VerticalPosition = .Rows.VerticalPosition + PixelsToPoints(pxl)
    End With
End Sub

All you need to do is make sure that the insertion point is within the table you want to nudge. If you want to move the table down instead of up, simply change the definition of the pxl constant to be a positive 1 instead of a negative 1.

If you prefer, you can move the table a point (1/72 of an inch) at a time. Here's the version of the macro that could handle this movement:

Sub MoveTableUp2()
' set pt to the number of points to move: positive for down and
' negative for up
    Const pt As Single = -1

    If Not Selection.Information(wdWithInTable) Then Exit Sub
    With Selection.Tables(1)
        .Rows.VerticalPosition = .Rows.VerticalPosition + pt
    End With
End Sub

Nudging the table horizontally instead of vertically is simply of matter of using the HorizontalPosition property with the Rows object rather than the VerticalPosition property. You could rather easily create four versions of your macro (for each of the four directions you might want to nudge your table) and then assign shortcut keys to the macros.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12135) 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: Nudging a Table.

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Comments for this tip:

Peter Jay Salzman    21 Mar 2013, 08:58
Oh, wow. Now this is awesome information. I'm absolutely floored that nudging tables is so difficult in 2010. That's inconceivable to me.

I'm an advanced Excel/VBA user. Never really thought about Word/VBA before. I see alt-11 open up the VBA editor. Nice.

Thanks so much for posting this great tidbit!
PBelli    22 Sep 2012, 12:04
Have not used it, but it looks like a very useful macro. Thanks a lot.

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