How to Horizontally Center a Table in Word

Microsoft Word lets you add tables to your documents so you can display text in a row and column format. After a table is created, it can be positioned horizontally on the page using the same justifications as text: left aligned, centered or right aligned. Tables are created left aligned by default, but there several methods you can use to change the alignment to center the table on the page.

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Select a Table to Center

When a table is the same width as the page where it's displayed, its alignment won't be obvious. For narrower tables, you can change the alignment from the default left by first selecting the entire table. This is done by moving your mouse over the upper left corner of the table until the table selection icon appears (the icon looks like a small square with a cross inside). Click on this icon to select the entire table so you can center it.

Center a Table Horizontally in Word

Once you have selected the entire table, press "Ctrl" and "E" on the keyboard to center the table between the left and right margins. This is the quickest centering method, but it's probably the least intuitive. Another quick method is to pick one of the alignment icons from the "Paragraph" settings area in the ribbon at the top of the page. Center, align right and align left can be used to position the table. There's also a justify icon next to the alignment icons, but it has no affect when a table is selected.

Centering Tables with Table Properties

The "Table Properties" dialog provides another way to center a table. You can access "Table Properties" by pressing the right mouse button anywhere on a selected table, or on the table selection icon of an unselected table, and then choosing "Table Properties" from the popup menu. You can also access "Table Properties" from the "Table Layout" ribbon after you select the table.

In the "Table Properties" dialog, table alignment can be set to left, center or right. The new alignment will take affect after you hit "OK" in the dialog. The "Table Properties" dialog has an option called "Text Wrapping" that lets you specify whether surrounding text should stop before the table and proceed after it, or wrap around the table. The dialog also lets you specify whether to position the table relative to the margins, page or column.