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: Creating Tables with Specific Column Widths.

Creating Tables with Specific Column Widths

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 30, 2011)

Word allows you to easily create tables, but getting your column widths "just so" can be challenging, at times. For instance, what if you want a twelve-column table with the first two columns a certain width, and the rest of the columns sharing the remaining horizontal space? Here's an easy way to get the desired result:

  1. Create a one-row, three-column table. This one-row table should fill the whole width of your document, from margin to margin.
  2. Use the mouse to adjust the width of the first two columns, making them as wide as you need.
  3. Place the insertion point in the third column of the table.
  4. Select Split Cells from the Table menu. Word displays the Split Cells dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Split Cells dialog box.

  6. Using the Number of Columns control, specify that you want the cell split into 10 columns.
  7. Click OK.

Your row is now just as you wanted. To create more rows just like it, select the row and then choose to insert additional rows above the selected row. After you insert the first row, just press F4 repeatedly until you have created the number of desired rows.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1757) 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: Creating Tables with Specific Column Widths.

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

Controlling the Printing of Highlighting

Using Word's built-in highlighter tool can be a great way to add markup to a document and attract a reader's eyes to specific ...

Discover More

Sorting Huge Lists

Got a huge amount of data you need to sort in a worksheet, but Excel doesn't seem to be sorting it correctly? Here's some ...

Discover More

Grouping Records in a Mail Merge

Need to group records in some manner when they are used in a mail merge? It can be frustrating when your records are not ...

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)

Designing Standard Tables

If you have a common table layout that you want to use again and again, you'd benefit by having an easy way to save that ...

Discover More

Heading Changes for Multi-page Tables

When you have a long table that extends over multiple pages, Word allows you to specify one or more rows to be repeated at ...

Discover More

Repeating the First Column of a Table

Need the first column of a table to be repeated on multiple pages? You can't do it automatically in Word, but you can use a ...

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}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. 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 6 - 4?

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.

Newest Tips
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.