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Fixing AutoFit Table Columns in Word

Word will automatically adjust or Autofit the width of table columns and the space within cells to fit the content that you are entering. Sometimes you don’t want this and want to be able to control the column widths yourself.

AutoFit for Word tables is great but sometimes gets too enthusiastic.  Tables get pushed beyond the right-margin or a single line widens a column unnecessarily.

It’s a good starting point or approximation but often you’ll need to turn AutoFit off and do the final table adjustments yourself.

Turn Off AutoFit Column Widths

To turn off AutoFit for table columns, put your cursor anywhere inside the table you want to change.

Go to the Layout tab on the right-hand side that only appears when you are within a table. Note that this is not the Layout tab that is always on the ribbon – don’t get the two confused!

Now click AutoFit and select Fixed Column Width.

You can now drag the column borders to the width that you want, and the columns will stay your selected width even if you type longer text into them.

Table Cell Margins and Spacing Options in Word

Merge or Split cells in Word tables

Styles for individual table cells in Word

Make a Table or list of Tables in a Word document

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