How to Adjust the Column Width of a Microsoft Word Table

By Filonia LeChat

Although the Microsoft Office Suite comes complete with programs dedicated to word processing (Microsoft Word) and a spreadsheet and table maker (Microsoft Excel), there's no requirement to exit out of Word when working with tables. Design, enter and edit tables directly within Word to suit page display requirements. Adjusting column width of a table in Microsoft Word takes little more action that most of other processes in Word.

Step 1

Open Microsoft Word. Click the "File" tab at the top-left corner of the screen. Click the "Open" option below it. Browse to the document with the column width to adjust.

Step 2

Double-click the name of the file. When the file opens in a new Word window, scroll to the page with the column to adjust. If desired, use the enlarge scrolling bar at the bottom-right of the screen to zoom in on the column to adjust.

Step 3

Hover -- but don't click -- the cursor over the vertical bar running the length of the column to adjust. Notice the cursor goes through a few changes, from the standard I-bar to a black arrow to two small thin lines with arrows pointing to the right and left. Position the cursor so that this last option is visible.

Step 4

Click and drag the vertical line of the column to the right or left to adjust its width. Because the cursor changed to the two small lines and arrows, it means the entire column will adjust instead of a single cell.

Tips & Warnings

  • Adjusting the column width of a table may have an effect on that column's contents. If you adjust the column smaller, word wrap may occur, making the column cells wider.