Table Won't Flow to Second Page

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 11, 2014)

Pam is having a problem with a table. In the table, when she reaches the bottom of a page, instead of automatically going onto the next one, the text disappears off the sheet. It is still there; if she deletes rows further up then the text becomes visible. Pam wonders how she can fix the behavior.

There are several possible causes for the problem, Pam, and you'll have to try a few things to see what works. Before trying anything, however, make sure that your table is exhibiting the problem, meaning that it has text that flows beyond the bottom margin of the page. That way, if one of the fixes works, you'll see the table flow as it should to the next page.

First of all, check the formatting of the paragraphs used within the table. If the paragraphs have the "Keep with Next" setting selected, then it can cause problem with the flowing of the paragraphs within the table. Each paragraph tries to stay on the same page as the following paragraph, and since they can't all fit on the same page, Word can get a bit confused. Select all the paragraphs in the table, display the Line and Page Breaks tab of the Paragraph dialog box and clear the Keep with Next check box.

Next thing to check is the formatting of the table rows. You can set them up so that rows don't break across pages, meaning that a row won't split between two pages. If the table has a single row, and that row extends longer than a page, then Word once again gets a bit confused. Right-click the table, choose Properties, display the Row tab, and select the Allow Row to Break Across Pages check box.

There is another table property worth checking. If text wrapping for the table is turned on, then it can cause problems with the table extending beyond the bottom of the page. Right-click the table, choose Properties, display the Table tab, and click None in the Text Wrapping area.

Another thing to check is the compatibility settings used within Word. If the document is based on an old template, or the document was originally created in a very old version of Word, then it is possible that the compatibility settings are causing some weird text flowing problems. You check the compatibility settings by clicking Tools | Options | Compatibility tab.

If all else fails, try selecting the table, converting it to text, and then converting it back into a table. This should "reset" many of the table settings and your table may start behaving as expected.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5686) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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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