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: Centering Information in Table Cells.

Centering Information in Table Cells

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 23, 2018)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Tables are a powerful formatting tool used in many Word documents. Often it is necessary to center information within the cells of a table. There are two ways to center information: horizontally and vertically.

Horizontal centering is quite simple. All you need to do is position the insertion point somewhere within the text and then click on the Center button on the Home tab of the ribbon or on the Formatting toolbar. Centering text vertically is almost as easy:

  1. Right-click on the cell containing the information you want to vertically center. This displays a Context menu for the cell.
  2. Choose the Alignment (Word 97) or Cell Alignment (Word 2000 or later) option from the Context menu. This displays a submenu.
  3. Choose the Center Vertically option.

You should note that vertical centering will not give the desired results if you have the paragraph formatting for the text set to anything except single spacing, with no space before or after the paragraph. This extra spacing before or after affects the centering in the same way that paragraph indents affect horizontal spacing.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1501) 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: Centering Information in 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 two less than 9?

2021-05-30 23:41:59

Peter Kutter

thanks all for your comments. much more useful than the original article which does not show the correct solution

2021-03-02 22:05:29

Reylan Taguinod

How to do this inside an inserted table in WORD 2013?
1. Right-Click on the cell/s you want to vertically align.
2. In the dropdown menu, choose "table properties".
3. In the pop-up window, chose what you want to work with. Choose "cell" if you are working on cells, then click on the vertical alignment you want.
I hope this helps.

2021-02-28 20:01:07

Darell McLean

Actually you right click on subjec cell then go to 'Table Properties' - and its all very clear in there :)

2019-02-20 12:04:13


Thank you! This was immensely helpful. I was afraid I wouldn't find any results for my search, but thankfully I came across this. You explained it perfectly. Thank you again!

2018-05-08 02:59:27

jay kalathiya

thank_you sir,
I waste too much time to find out how to take vertically center.....but it's too easy after read your information.
thank you once again.

2018-01-11 17:48:45

Laurie Johnson

Re: Tables. I could not move the text to the bottom of the cell until I read your comment that text has to be set at single spacing. Thanks!

2017-09-26 12:24:42

Jayne Falugo

Thank you! I did not know: "...vertical centering will not give the desired results if you have the paragraph formatting for the text set to anything except single spacing, with no space before or after the paragraph. "

2017-05-11 02:02:54


WORD 13 does not provide vertical alignment of text within the cell of a table ???

2016-05-09 21:18:35


Thank you so much!!

2016-03-25 14:06:34

Father Pahomie

Things are standing better:

What you could do for a single cell (vertical alignement, you can do for a whole tab at once.
Just go to the upper left corner of the table and right click on "+" that appears there. Than select Tab prop and cell and choose wanted.



2016-03-18 05:46:36


As a web & mobile app developer, I have to use MSWord & Excel frequently in my database work. The text on this page declares, "Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world." It's only that because MicroSoft got there first, not because of the quality of the program. Nothing costs me more time in my work than dealing with the inefficiency and sloppy, thoughtless programming of these applications. The fact that I'm having to spend nearly a half hour researching how to get text to vertically center in a table cell—only to find (thus far) that it can only be done on a Per-Cell basis)—is evidence. For one of the richest companies in the World, MicroSoft authors the most dysfunctional programs the computing age has ever seen, and continues to do so. The only way I have come up with for dealing with the frustrations of using these programs is to imagine that I'm trying to work with a retarded child, and not expect anything more than that in return.

Thank you, Allan Wyatt, for being here for us, and getting us through this nonsense called MicroSoft.

2016-02-01 15:03:53


I am so happy! The note about the paragraph settings causing trouble with vertical centering solved my problem! Thank you so much!

2015-09-10 17:32:20


(Thanks to Joel for the comment -- that did the trick.)

2015-09-10 17:30:56


Thanks so much! Re-learning how to get Word / MS products to do what you want (if they even will) is so tiresome.

2015-09-08 07:29:34


Thanks so much!

2015-07-30 15:16:08

Joyca Amend

Every time I create a table in a word document the indents for each cell do not line up with the cell size. This means that every time I go to center the words they are actually OFF center because the indents are wrong. Help!!

2015-07-16 17:11:03


I am constantly running into a problem with MS Word tables where the fonts in a cell want to only show the bottom half of the words in the cell. If I vertically center the words it still just shows the bottom half of the words. How can that be rectified?

2015-07-03 14:08:20


Vertical alignment for Word 2013:

Select the cell, right click, select Table Properties, then select the Cell tab. You should see options there for vertical allignment.

2015-04-21 15:48:43

Mark Oliver

For Word 2013 right click to Table Properties, then chose one of the Table, Row, Column, Cell, or Alt Text tabs.

2014-11-28 06:27:02


This don't work in Word 2013

2014-08-17 09:01:04

James K

Thank You for this article! I had tried for nearly an hour to get my table to format correctly, to no avail. I tried every option available and had never considered that it might by the default paragraph style causing the misaligned.

My Problem was solved in a single click after reading your tip!


~ James

2014-05-22 11:04:43

Carole Crisp

How about when working in a table? For some reason there always seems to be one row or a couple of cells that will not format as suggested. Any ideas?

2014-02-09 10:55:22

Mary Frances Rauch

Very timely. Just last week I needed to remember this tip and had to apply a little "head-scratching" to do so. Thanks to you and previous articles, I got it done!
Your ongoing advice is so very helpful.
Hope you and yours are well. We, here in Ohio, have been frozen in time (snowed in many times) this winter so far. At the moment it is snowing so fast and heavy that it is difficult to see very far down the road.
Thank you!

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