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: Spacing Table Rows Vertically.

Spacing Table Rows Vertically

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 17, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


When you are working with tables, you may wonder how you can easily add space before a table row. This can be important when you have the table formatted with borders, and the text in the table is too close to the border at the top of the row. Word makes it easy to add space after the information in a row, simply by adjusting the height of the row itself so it is greater than the space occupied by the information in the row. But what about before a row?

An easy way to solve this problem is with paragraph formatting. If you have a single paragraph in each cell of a row, simply select the row. You can then follow these steps:

  1. Choose Paragraph from the Format menu. Word displays the Paragraph dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Paragraph dialog box.

  3. Adjust the Before setting so it represents the amount of space you want between the text and the row border. (A good setting is either 3 or 6 pt.)
  4. Click on OK.

You can also use this method if you have multiple paragraphs in each cell. The difference, however, is that you should select the top paragraph in each cell and format just it, instead of formatting the paragraphs in the row as a whole.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1758) 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: Spacing Table Rows Vertically.

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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