How to Automatically Resize a Table in Microsoft Word

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With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage. Read more…
Table in Microsoft Word
By using a table in Microsoft Word, you can structure elements of your document or insert data in an organized format. Once you add your table, consider automatically resizing it to fit the document or the table contents.
You can manually resize a table in Word by dragging a corner or edge. But with the AutoFit feature, Word sizes your table for you, eliminating some manual work.
You can automatically resize your table to fit the page or the contents in the table. And you can use the AutoFit feature before or after you add the data to the table.
Select the table in your document. You can do this by placing your cursor over the table and clicking the table handle (four-sided arrow) on the top left. This highlights the whole table.
Select the table handle
Right-click and move your cursor to AutoFit in the shortcut menu. Then, pick either “AutoFit to Contents” or “AutoFit to Window” in the pop-out menu.
Right-click and move to AutoFit
Alternatively, click the drop-down arrow for AutoFit in the floating toolbar to make your selection.
Click AutoFit in the toolbar
If you pick “AutoFit to Contents,” each column will shrink or expand to fit the data inside. If you add or remove data in the table, the columns adjust to accommodate the cell with the largest amount of content.
AutoFit to Contents
If you choose “AutoFit to Window,” the table will stretch to the right and left margins with the columns at equal widths by default.
AutoFit to Window
You’ll also notice an option in the AutoFit menu for Fixed Column Width. You can use this option to keep the columns at their adjusted sizes after you fit the table to the contents of the window.
Select Fixed Column Width
RELATED: How to Freeze the Size of the Cells in a Table in Word
When you automatically resize a table in Word, you can still make manual adjustments to the size if you like. You can also do things like align the table horizontally or add rows and columns as needed.
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Digital Strategist Chris Hood

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