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: Squaring Table Cells.

Squaring Table Cells

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 14, 2013)

Tables can be very handy for organizing information in a document. Word provides the tools you need to create, edit, and format tables. In formatting a table, you may wonder about the best way to "square" all the cells in the table so that they are the same height and width. The answer depends on which version of Word you are using.

Follow these general steps if you are using Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003:

  1. Insert the table as you normally would, making sure it has the desired number of rows and columns.
  2. Select the entire table.
  3. Make sure that the paragraphs in the table are formatted so there is no space before or after. (Choose Format | Paragraph and set Before and After to zero.)
  4. Choose Table Properties from the Table menu. Word displays the Table Properties dialog box.
  5. Make sure the Column tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Column tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  7. In the Preferred Width box, enter the width you want used for each column.
  8. Display the Row tab. (See Figure 2.)
  9. Figure 2. The Row tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  10. Make sure the Specify Height check box is selected, then specify the same height and measurement units you used for the column width in step 6.
  11. Make sure the Row Height Is drop-down list is set to Exactly.
  12. Display the Table tab, then click on Options. Word displays the Table Options dialog box.
  13. Make sure all four cell margins are set to the same value.
  14. Clear the Automatically Resize to Fit Contents check box.
  15. Close all the open dialog boxes.

If you are using Word 97, the steps are a bit different:

  1. Insert the table as you normally would, making sure it has the desired number of rows and columns.
  2. Select the entire table.
  3. Make sure that the paragraphs in the table are formatted so there is no space before or after. (Choose Format | Paragraph and set Before and After to zero.)
  4. Choose Cell Height and Width from the Table menu. Word displays the Cell Height and Width dialog box.
  5. Make sure the Column tab is displayed.
  6. In the Width of Columns box, enter the width you want used for each column.
  7. Display the Row tab.
  8. Make sure the Height of Rows drop-down list is set to Exactly.
  9. Enter the same value in the At box as you used in the step 6. You should note that the default measurement units in this box is points, while the default measurement units in step 6 is inches. Make sure you use the same measurement units here. (For instance, if you want the height to be .75 inches, you enter .75".)
  10. Close all the open dialog boxes.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3890) 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: Squaring Table Cells.

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

Shifting Margins Evident in Word 2002

When you open a document in one version of Word and compare it to what you see for the same document in a different version ...

Discover More

Adding a Hyperlink to a Document

As an online tool, it makes sense that Docs allows you to create hyperlinks that lead to other resources online. Here's how ...

Discover More

Shortcut Key for Format Painter

The Format Painter is great for copying formatting from one cell to another. If you don't want to grab the mouse to use the ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Jumping to Tables

If your document contains quite a few tables, you may find it helpful to jump quickly from one table to another. There are ...

Discover More

Quickly Inserting Table Rows

Need to pop a few extra rows into a table? It is easy to do using the same tools you used to create the table in the first ...

Discover More

Keep Your Headings in View

Headings on a table are very important when it comes to understanding what is in the table. This tip explains an easy way you ...

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 9 - 2?

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.