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: Freezing a Table.

Freezing a Table

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 5, 2022)

Word allows you to easily create tables, modify them, and place data in them. Word can even automatically adjust the dimensions of cells in your table to reflect the data that is in them. There may be times, however, when you want to "freeze" the size of cells in a table. For instance, you might want the cells to be a certain size, and never change—even when you place a large amount of data in the cell.

The first step is to adjust column width so that the columns in your table are the way you want them. Then, follow these steps if you are using Word 97:

  1. Select the cells you want to "freeze." (If you want to affect the entire table, select the entire table.)
  2. Choose the Cell Height and Width option from the Table menu. Word displays the Cell Height and Width dialog box.
  3. Change the height specification from Auto to Exactly. (This is the drop-down list near the upper-left corner of the dialog box.)
  4. In the At field, enter the height you want for your rows, in points. Remember that there are 72 points in an inch.
  5. Click on OK to close the Cell Height and Width dialog box.

If you are using Word 2000 or later, the process is slightly different:

  1. Right-click the table and choose Table Properties from the Context menu. Word displays the Table Properties dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Row tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Row tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  4. Select the Specify Height check box, and then enter a height for the rows.
  5. Use the Row Height Is drop-down list to choose Exactly.
  6. Display the Table tab. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. The Table tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  8. Click on the Options button. Word displays the Table Options dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  9. Figure 3. The Table Options dialog box.

  10. Make sure the Automatically Resize to Fit Contents check box is cleared.
  11. Click on OK to close the Table Options dialog box.
  12. Click on OK to close the Table Properties dialog box.

These last steps (5 through 9) are particularly important. If you don't clear the Automatically Resize to Fit Contents check box, Word can and will readjust the column width to display the most data possible in the table.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1605) 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: Freezing a Table.

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

Page Layout Zoom Settings

The zoom setting at which you view a document can sometimes be saved with a document. This tip explains how the zoom ...

Discover More

Setting Text Attributes

Want to change the attributes of your text (or what Excel refers to as font styles)? Here's how to do it.

Discover More

Adding Buttons to Your Worksheet

You can easily add a button to your worksheet that will allow you to run various macros. This tip shows how easy it is.

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)

Jumping to Tables

If your document contains quite a few tables, you may find it helpful to jump quickly from one table to another. There ...

Discover More

Counting Values in Table Cells

In Excel it is easy to count how many times a certain character occurs in a column of cells. In Word, it is a bit ...

Discover More

Quickly Moving Your Table

For those who love to use the mouse during editing, you can use the little critter to help move your tables to exactly ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 - 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.

Videos
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.