Resizing tables: How do I make Word nudge rather than snap?
Thread poster: Yongmei Liu
Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:10
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Jan 5, 2006

In Microsoft Word 2000, when I resize column width, how do I make the border move just a tiny bit?

Hope I'm making sense to you all.

Thanks.


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Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 05:10
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Enter the width numerically Jan 5, 2006

Select the column, go Table-properties, the Column tab, enter the number you want.

It is sometimes dificult to force an exact column width in Word (it has a habit of deciding what is the best for you without asking you); if I need exact columns in a more complex setup, I use Excel, or Open Office.

HTH

Antonin


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
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Word does not have any habits to decide for you - but you need to tell it that Jan 5, 2006

If you don't, it behaves like a car with automatic transmission. But even such car can be gearswitched manually nowadays - you just need to put your hand on the gear lever or press the steering wheel buttons

As for the setting of column width: do as Antonin suggests and you can set the width to the exact measure. If you prefer to do this with dragging using your mouse, just keep ALT pressed and drag with the left mouse button as usuall.

Best
Jerzy

PS
For tables containing text I allways use Word. Excel is a very bad text editor. And you can get very nice tables in Word, with a very complex cell setup. If you need to calculate, then Excel should be the choice. Microsoft recommends Word for text tables and Excel for caluculations.

[Edited at 2006-01-05 21:01]


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 05:10
English to German
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auto resize Jan 5, 2006

mark the full table (the + symbol on the top left) and select autosize, all cells will be of one size. But I don´t know to size the table back.Auto-sizing is sometimes helpful while translating to be able to see the target. Brandis

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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:10
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TOPIC STARTER
"keep ALT pressed and drag with the left mouse button as usuall" Jan 5, 2006

That does it!

My problem was allocating width among columns. Say I have 10 columns and I need to make some columns wider and other columns narrower.

How did you find it, Jerzy? I tried to Google it but to no avail.

Thanks to all of you.

Yongmei


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Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 05:10
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Tables in Word Jan 5, 2006

Jerzy,

I know for sure that Word sometimes does decide that it will resize the column width and will simply not respect the number you set (that my be why it says "preferred column width" and not "column width" on the tab?). I have not found out how to prevent such behavior - if you know how to do it, I will be glad to learn about it.

Antonin

(BTW I used Excel for creating empty tables with the exact dimensions I needed for some forms, when I was unable to make Word keep the values I was setting. I of course agree it is not a very convenient tool for tables with some text in the cells.)

[Edited at 2006-01-05 21:28]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
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Tables in Word Jan 5, 2006

Word keeps a number of parameters for your tables.
If you right click on the table and chose "Table properties" you will get to table settings for this particular table.

At the first register (Table) you can set the whole width of the table, how the table is placed in the text, then, if you click on "Options" you can change the indents on both text sides (ie. how far from the grid line the text begins and ends), and - very important - you can switch auto resizing on and off. It is "on" per default - thus Word will not keep your setings, as after text is entered, it automatically resizes the table (see the similarity to a car with automatic transmission?). Switch that off.

On the other register you can define the width of columns and the height of rows. You can also select, that a page break in the cell is not allowed.

For the other question, about pressing ALT for fine resizing, this works also for tabulator setting and all other similar actions, performed by dragging with the mouse. If instead of searching on the Internet you would have asked the Word help (fine resizing column width with mouse) you would get the proper answer. This ALT trick is describer in Word help.

Best
Jerzy


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Antoní­n Otáhal
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Thank you, Jerzy - that is great Jan 5, 2006

I simply did not know about this option to switch off the automatic resizing. Learning all the time, and I have been using Word in and out for many years now.

As a follow-up, with each new table Word sets this resizing feature "on" again - can I change the default such that it is always off when a new table is created?

Antonin


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
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Now you are right, Word does sometimes take the controll :-(( Jan 5, 2006

Antoní­n Otáhal wrote:

I simply did not know about this option to switch off the automatic resizing. Learning all the time, and I have been using Word in and out for many years now.

As a follow-up, with each new table Word sets this resizing feature "on" again - can I change the default such that it is always off when a new table is created?

Antonin



Sorry, not that I would know. So far Word does at least try to take over the controll. There are some "features" in Word, which cannot be switched off - I asked Microsoft for that. We can only hope, that in the comming Office 12 (should be realeased in the Fall this year, and the first comments speak about a "revolution") more options will be customizable. Still, I think there are only very few programms, which are as far customizable as Word is.
Some of this "features" are

  • Auto indent when auto numbering - after entering a number followed by text and pressing enter, Word creates a numbered list, which is a feature; but you cannot tell Word not to indent text from the left margin by default - the "specs" from M$ told me, this is good so!
  • Repagination cannot be switched off, even in the simplified view modus. When you work with Trados on a very long document it is a very good "feature" indeed.


Regards
Jerzy


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Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 05:10
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Yes, you are right Jan 5, 2006

Jerzy Czopik wrote:

Still, I think there are only very few programms, which are as far customizable as Word is.


I agree with that (well, the open-source ones can be customized any way you like, at least theoretically).

Alas, MS Word of today cannot be compared with the old times when the whole Word was (more or less) a set of "open" macros you could edit...

Those two issues you mention do not actually disturb me too much - I switch off the autonumebring , together with many other setting, as the first step after installation.

And I mostly work in the normal view, which does not repaginate automatically (with sime exceptions, such as working with "track edit" texts or text with images and textboxes not visible in the normal view).

I am sure many features can be adapated the way you want them using VBA, but it is usually a lot of work, and only sometimes it is worth all your time and effort.

Antonin


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
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Sorry, but it is not true Jan 5, 2006

Antoní­n Otáhal wrote:...
And I mostly work in the normal view, which does not repaginate automatically (with sime exceptions, such as working with "track edit" texts or text with images and textboxes not visible in the normal view).
...


Word does repaginate even in normal view. And this is sometimes disturbing.

As for switching of the auto numbering and a number of other usefull features, so I do keep them on - some bells however are switched off. But OTOH switching all this stuff of is similar to buying a car with 218 HP for driving along in the city
Word is somehow similar to the modern mobile phones, which have so many bells and whistles, that one almost cannot use them for phoning. But then, when you get used to those features, you will miss them afterwards. So I would miss the auto numbering and a number of other things.

Regards
Jerzy


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