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: Blank Lines Before Tables.

Blank Lines before Tables

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 2, 2013)

If you want to place a blank line before a table, exactly how you do so depends on where the table is located in your document. This may sound strange, but it seems to be the way that Word just works. If the table is the very first thing in the document, all you need to do is press Ctrl+Home to position the insertion point at the left side of the first cell of the table. Then press Enter. Word places a blank line before the table.

This only works if the table is the first thing in the document. If you try this with a table that is anywhere else in a document, Word simply adds a new paragraph within the first cell of the table. To place a new blank line before the table, you must move to the end of the paragraph just before the table and press Enter. (You aren't pressing Enter in the table; you are pressing it just before the table.)

The upshot of this behavior is that if you want a new paragraph within the first cell of a table, and the table is at the very beginning of the document, you can't get it by pressing Enter, or other combinations of Enter such as Alt+Enter or Ctrl+Enter. Instead, you must either copy the paragraph mark to the cell from a different location, or you can follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+Home to position the insertion pointer in the first cell at the beginning of the table and document.
  2. Press Enter. A blank line (paragraph) appears before the table. The insertion point is on the blank line.
  3. Press the Down Arrow to again position the insertion pointer at the beginning of the first cell of the table.
  4. Press Enter. A new paragraph is added in the first cell.
  5. Delete the new paragraph added after step 2.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3457) 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: Blank Lines Before Tables.

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

Formatting All Headings At Once

If you need to apply a common formatting change to all the headings in your document, a quick way to do it is to use the ...

Discover More

Protecting an Entire Folder of Workbooks

Want to protect the Excel information stored in a particular folder on your system? There are a number of ways you can ...

Discover More

Automatically Identifying Repeated Words

Need to find out how many times words are repeated in a document? If so, you'll appreciate the discussion in this tip ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Placing Text in Empty Table Cells

Tables are often used to organize information into an understandable format. If your company requires that tables in ...

Discover More

Formatting an ASCII Table with Spaces

When you get a text file from a program other than Word, tabular information may be formatted with nothing but spaces in ...

Discover More

Table Borders Won't Print

Print a table and you may be surprised if it has no borders. That could be because you actually have the borders turned ...

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 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 one minus 1?

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.