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: Viewing Formulas in Table Cells.

Viewing Formulas in Table Cells

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 24, 2022)

Johannes asked if there was a way to view formulas that are in table cells. It seems that his formulas tend to be too long for the smaller cells in his table, and that prevents them from being completely displayed when he looks at field codes instead of field results.

Unfortunately, Word does not have a feature such as those present in Excel or in Access that allow you to view the contents of a cell independently from the document itself. One solution, however, is to simply make sure that you don't limit the height of a row in the table. If the row height can change, as necessary, then the row will expand when you are viewing field codes and contract to normal height when you are viewing field results. Follow these steps:

  1. Select your table using any method desired. (Holding down the Alt key as you double-click in the table works just fine.)
  2. Right-click on the table. Word displays a Context menu.
  3. From the Context menu, choose Table Properties (Word 2000 or later) or Cell Height & Width (Word 97). Word displays the Table Properties dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Row tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Row tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  6. Make sure the Specify Height check box is selected.
  7. Using the Row Height Is drop-down box (Word 2000 or later) or the Rows drop-down box (Word 97), select either Auto or At Least.
  8. If you selected At Least as your row height, then specify how high you want each row to be, at a minimum.
  9. Click on OK.

Now, when you press Alt+F9 to view field codes, the row height will change temporarily to accommodate the entire formula. When you later view field results, the row height will revert to its normal appearance.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1655) 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: Viewing Formulas 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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