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: AutoFitting Tables.

AutoFitting Tables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 4, 2015)

1

Word makes it very easy to add tables to your documents. Once added, you may need to adjust the width of the columns in your table to fit your needs. There are a myriad of ways you can do this, as has been covered in other issues of WordTips. One of the quickest ways you can adjust the width of columns is to use the AutoFit feature of Word. This feature is particularly useful if you have a small amount of information in each cell of your table. To use the feature, follow these steps:

  1. Select the entire table.
  2. Choose AutoFit from the Table menu. Word displays a submenu.
  3. Choose AutoFit to Contents from the Submenu.

The above steps won't work if you are still using Word 97. In that case you'll need to follow these steps, instead:

  1. Select the entire table.
  2. Choose Cell Height and Width from the Table menu. Word displays the Cell Height and Width dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Column tab is selected.
  4. Click on AutoFit.

The effect on your table depends on whether it contains information or not. If the table is empty, the columns are evenly resized so they fit within the page margins. If there is information in any of the columns, the column width is set so that information fits on a line (if possible).

If your table contains information, you can use the mouse to quickly do an AutoFit. You do that by simply double-clicking the mouse on the left border of the table. The column widths adjust automatically, the same as if you went through the steps detailed above.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (82) 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: AutoFitting Tables.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Indenting a Paragraph

Normally your text extends from the left margin all the way to the right. If you need to indent a paragraph of your text, ...

Discover More

Turning E-mail Addresses into Hyperlinks

Got a whole bunch of e-mail addresses that you need to convert to active hyperlinks? You can do the conversion in a single ...

Discover More

Noting Inactivity within a Timeframe

There are many times when you are creating a worksheet that you need to analyze dates within that worksheet. Once such ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Merging Table Cells

Want to create cells that span multiple columns or multiple rows? You do this in Word by merging cells together. Here's how ...

Discover More

Adjusting Column Widths on Joined Tables

Each table in a document can have different numbers of columns and different widths for columns. If you want to join two ...

Discover More

Inserting Cells in a Table

You can enlarge a table by adding cells where they are needed. Just pick where you want the cells inserted, then use the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 4?

2016-11-19 15:21:27

Phillip

In word 2013 one should highlight the table.Look on top for table tools on top and select layout and then auto for should be found below view pane


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.