How to Fix a Table in Word That is Off the Page: Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever been working on a Word document and had a table go rogue on you, sprawling off the page and messing up your layout? Fear not, my friends. With a few simple steps, you can rein in that unruly table and get your document looking sharp again.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Fix a Table in Word That is Off the Page

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about what we’re aiming to do here. Essentially, we want to adjust the size of the table so that it fits within the margins of the page. This might involve resizing the columns, adjusting the text, or changing the page orientation. Now, let’s get started.

Step 1: Adjust the Table Properties

First, right-click on the table and select "Table Properties."

When you open the Table Properties window, you can adjust several settings that might help fix your table. You can set the preferred width of the table, align it to the left, center, or right of the page, and even choose from options like text wrapping.

Step 2: Resize the Columns Manually

Next, hover your cursor over the column borders until it turns into a double-sided arrow, then click and drag to resize.

If your table is too wide because one or more columns are too big, this step allows you to manually make them narrower. Be careful not to make the text too squished, though!

Step 3: Adjust the Text in the Table

If resizing doesn’t work, try changing the font size, removing unnecessary text, or adjusting the cell margins within the table.

Sometimes the issue is not with the table itself but with the content inside it. Making the text smaller or getting rid of extra words can sometimes do the trick.

Step 4: Change the Page Orientation

If the table is still too wide, consider changing the orientation of the page to landscape.

This is a more drastic measure, but if you have a really wide table, sometimes flipping the page orientation can give you the extra space you need.

Step 5: Split the Table into Two

If all else fails, you can split the table into two smaller tables that fit on the page.

This is a last resort, but if you have a table that just won’t fit no matter what you do, breaking it up into smaller chunks can help you get the information on the page without it spilling over.

After you’ve completed these steps, your table should fit neatly on the page, and your document should look much tidier.

Tips for How to Fix a Table in Word That is Off the Page

  • Make sure you’re working in "Print Layout" view to get an accurate picture of how your table will look on the page.
  • If your table has merged cells, these can sometimes make resizing tricky. Consider unmerging cells if necessary.
  • Remember that the "Undo" button is your friend. If you make a change you don’t like, just hit Undo and try something else.
  • If you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn table, try copying and pasting it into a new document and fixing it there before bringing it back into your original document.
  • Don’t forget to save your document frequently as you work, so you don’t lose any changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my table keep going off the page in Word?

This usually happens because the table is wider than the page margins. It can also be due to large text or images within the table cells.

Can I lock the table so it doesn’t go off the page again?

While you can’t "lock" a table in the traditional sense, you can set a preferred width in the Table Properties and make sure it doesn’t exceed the page width.

What’s the best way to adjust a table that’s too long instead of too wide?

If your table is too long, consider breaking it into multiple tables or reducing the text size to fit more content on one page.

What do I do if my table is still going off the page after resizing the columns?

Try adjusting the text, changing the page orientation, or splitting the table into smaller tables.

Can I prevent tables from going off the page in the future?

Yes, you can be proactive by setting the table properties correctly from the beginning and keeping an eye on the width as you add content.


  1. Adjust the Table Properties
  2. Resize the Columns Manually
  3. Adjust the Text in the Table
  4. Change the Page Orientation
  5. Split the Table into Two


Tables in Word can sometimes be a bit like wild horses – they need a firm hand to keep them in line. But with the steps outlined above, you’ll be wrangling those tables like a pro in no time. Remember to adjust the table properties, resize those columns, tweak the text, consider a landscape orientation, or as a last resort, split the table up. And of course, our handy tips and FAQs should help you troubleshoot any stubborn issues that come up along the way. So next time your table tries to make a run for it off the page, you’ll know exactly how to fix a table in Word that is off the page. Happy formatting!

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