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: Splitting Table Cells.

Splitting Table Cells

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 25, 2017)


You already know how to merge cells within a table. (If you don't know, a quick search at the WordTips site will reveal the information you need.) Once cells have been merged, you can later split them apart using many of the same methods you used to merge them in the first place. Here's an easy way to do the splitting:

  1. Right-click the previously merged cell.
  2. Choose Split Cells from the resulting Context menu. Word displays the Split Cells dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Split Cells dialog box.

  4. Using the controls in the dialog box, specify the number of columns and rows into which the merged cells should be split.
  5. Click OK.

If you don't want to right-click for some reason, you can also displays the Split Cells dialog box by positioning the insertion pointer in the merged cell and choosing Split Cells from the Table menu.

After you split the cells, the cell widths may be off a bit from the other cells in the table, and you may need to readjust them.

Another way to split cells is to use the Tables and Borders toolbar, as follows:

  1. Choose the Toolbars option from the View menu, and then make sure Tables and Borders is selected from the resulting submenu.
  2. Move the toolbar or adjust your document so you can see both your table and the toolbar.
  3. Click on the Draw Table tool on the toolbar. This is the one that looks like a pencil. The mouse cursor now looks like a pencil.
  4. Use the mouse cursor to draw cell lines in your table. Simply click and drag to draw each new cell line. When you release the mouse button, the cells appear as you have drawn them.
  5. When you are finished drawing, click on the Draw Table tool again (on the toolbar) or press the Esc key. This turns off the drawing mode.
  6. Close the Tables and Borders toolbar when finished.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1142) 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: Splitting 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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What is six more than 8?

2017-09-24 15:21:51


When I split a cell in a MS Word table cell, other cells in the same row go blank. This did not used to happen.

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