Format A Table in a Microsoft Word Document
Using the Ruler

Microsoft Word is notoriously bad and difficult for formatting tables. There has been great improvement in the last few versions but still many users do not know the processes or short cut keys. This guide will demonstrate:

The first stage of formatting the contents of a cell in a table is to use the features available in the ruler feature. The ruler bar is at the top of the open document and below the icon ribbon.

Format Word Table Using Ruler

If the ruler is not visible it can be easily opened clicking on the view tab on the ribbon which is at the top of the page.

Format Tables in Microsoft Word Using the Ruler

Then click on the Ruler radar button on the Show/hide panel of the view ribbon tab.

Format Tables in Microsoft Word Using the Ruler

The ruler should now appear at the top of the document just below the ribbon

Format Word Table Using Ruler

When the cursor is positioned in a cell two bars appear (see image below) indicating the width of the cell and column These are two gray bars can be used to adjusted the width of the cell and column.

Format Tables in Microsoft Word Using the Ruler

The movement of the column widths have a snap to grid motion, meaning that there are set points and movement is not continuous. Complete pixel control is possible and shown later in this tutorial.

The second set of formatting bars adjust the positioning of the text in the cell by either increasing or decreasing the indent:

Format Word Table Using Ruler

The indent controls can be adjusted so that text fits in the cell space. It is possible to adjust each individual cell in a table but this can give misaligned looking table once printed. It is standard to have a set distance between the table edge and the text. The text in the cell can be aligned either to the left, centre or right and this is positioned against the space adjusters.

 

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