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: Changing Spacing Between Table Cells.

Changing Spacing Between Table Cells

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 6, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Word contains a very powerful table editor that allows you to create very complex tables. Normally, Word does not add any additional space between the cells in a table. You can manually adjust the amount of space, however. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click anywhere within the table you want to format. Word displays a Context menu.
  2. Choose the Table Properties option from the Context menu. Word displays the Table Properties dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Table tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Table tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  5. Click on the Options button at the bottom of the dialog box. Word displays the Table Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Table Options dialog box.

  7. Make sure the Allow Spacing Between Cells check box is selected.
  8. In the control to the right of the check box, specify how much space to leave between cells.
  9. Click on OK to close the Table Options dialog box.
  10. Click on OK to close the Table Properties dialog box.

If you are using Word 97 then the above steps won't work. Word 97 allows you to adjust only the space between columns. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the entire table. (You can choose Select Table from the Table menu.)
  2. Choose Cell Height and Width from the Table menu. This displays the Cell Height and Width dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Column tab is selected.
  4. Adjust the Space Between Columns setting, as desired.
  5. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (85) 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: Changing Spacing Between Table Cells.

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. ...

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