Working with Tables: Aligning a Table on the Page

While most publishing production flows want the simplest of tables in a manuscript, sometimes Word is the design software. We see this often when creating documents for in-house use only — such as reports and proposals; these are often produced entirely in Word. So here is how to make sure the table behaves the way you want it to on the page, overall.

The primary methods are shown in the video demo at the bottom of this post are:

  • Dragging
  • Setting properties
  • Setting paragraph alignment

Drag the Table

Hover the cursor over the table to reveal the grab point on the top left corner (shown at right). Click that to drag the table anywhere on the page.

This method is particularly useful for moving a table closer to its reference in the text or placing it outside the margin of the body text.

Setting Properties

With the cursor placed anywhere in the table, select the Properties icon on the left edge of the (Table) Layout ribbon.

Word's table layout ribbon
This new Layout ribbon appears when the cursor is placed in a table.

Then set alignment for the table itself (cell contents are set separately) and whether the surrounding text will wrap around the table border or split above and below the table. Click OK.

This Table Properties dialog box can be opened by right-clicking on a table, as well as by selecting the Properties icon from the (Table) Layout ribbon.

Setting Paragraph Alignment

Rather than selecting the Alignment for the table in the Table Properties, you can simply click the left, center, or right align icon on the Home ribbon, if the whole table is first selected. These icons set alignment for cell contents if only the cells are selected, not the whole table.

In the Paragraph group on the Home ribbon, you can set which page margin a table aligns to, if you first select the whole table.

Check out all the other posts in this series about Working with Tables and download your free multimedia ebook of them all!

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© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

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