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: Moving a Table Column.

Moving a Table Column

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 11, 2020)

After creating a table to hold data in your document, you may have a need to reorganize the table. One common way of reorganizing is to move columns so that they are in a different order than they were originally. Here's the general process for moving columns:

  1. Select the column you want to move.
  2. Press Ctrl+X, click on the cut tool on the toolbar, or choose Cut from the Edit menu. This removes the column from the table and copies it to the Clipboard.
  3. Move the insertion point to the beginning of the top cell of the column before which you want to place the column you just cut.
  4. Press Ctrl+V, click on the paste tool on the toolbar, or choose Paste from the Edit menu.

It should be noted that the above steps don't work as expected if you have Track Changes turned on. If you do, then when you attempt step 2 you are told that if you continue, your edit will not be "tracked" (marked). You will then need to make a decision as to whether this is a "deal breaker" on the edit. For most people it probably isn't, since you are going to paste the column elsewhere.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1769) 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: Moving a Table Column.

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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