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: Quickly Accessing the Column Tab.

Quickly Accessing the Column Tab

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 3, 2018)

There are many ways you can adjust column width and other table settings. For precise adjustment of column width, you might want to access the Table Properties dialog box (Word 2000, 2002, and 2003) or the Column tab of the Cell Height and Width dialog box (Word 97). You can do this quickly in the following manner:

  1. Position the insertion point in any cell of the table.
  2. Using the mouse, point to one of the "dotted boxes" on the ruler. These mark the boundaries of each column in the table. When you position the pointer over the box, the pointer changes to a double-headed arrow.
  3. Double-click the mouse, on the box marker. Word displays the desired dialog box.

Word 2000, 2002, and 2003 also provide an alternative way to access the same dialog box, and you may find it easier to use. You can follow these steps:

  1. Position the mouse pointer right above a column whose width you want to change. The mouse pointer should change to a downward pointing arrow.
  2. Right-click the mouse. The table column is selected and a Context menu appears.
  3. Select Table Properties from the Context menu. The Table Properties dialog box appears, from which you can easily select the Column tab. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Table Properties dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3858) 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: Quickly Accessing the Column Tab.

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

Chopped Off Page Borders

Tired of your page borders not printing out as you expect? The problem could be due to any number of settings or ...

Discover More

Formatted Dates Appear Differently on Different Systems

When you format a date in a specific manner, you may be surprised to see that the format changes when you open the ...

Discover More

Keyboard Shortcut for Comments

Adding comments to the cells in your worksheets can help to document different aspects of that worksheet. Adding a ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Copying Rows and Columns with the Mouse

Word allows you to do quite a few editing tasks using the mouse. If you want to copy rows or columns in a table, you can ...

Discover More

Adjusting Column Widths on Joined Tables

Each table in a document can have different numbers of columns and different widths for columns. If you want to join two ...

Discover More

Splitting a Table

Table getting too long? Need to move part of a table to somewhere else in your document? You can easily split an existing ...

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 5 + 9?

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.