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Make It Fit

Make It Fit

Do you work with tables in MS Word?

Does it drive you crazy when the text you’re entering into a cell is just a character or two too long and Word automatically text wraps down to a new line? You know, something like this:

I don’t know about you, but I don’t appreciate the different row heights it creates. So, what can you do?

Well, I suppose you could try to resize the column to fit the text. That option is okay if you’ve got room to spare in another column.

But what if you don’t have any “wiggle” room with your column widths?

I suppose you could try making the font smaller, but it will look a little weird with everything else. So, do you make everything smaller?

You could, but if you go too small, you’re not going to be able to read it.

Have any other ideas?

Lucky for you, I do!

Starting with Word 2000, you’ve got an option that allows you to have Word fit the text to the cell.

What it does is officially keep the same font size (specifically its height), but it shrinks the character widths to make them fit into the cell, like this:

Obviously, the amount you’re willing to shrink the text width has to be limited, because it, too, could become unreadable. But it definitely comes in handy when something is just a bit too big for the cell.

Well, if you’re still with me, you must be interested in the location of this little “gem,” so let’s get to that right now!

First, select the cell(s) in the table you want to treat as text in this manner.

In Word 2007, you need the Table Tools Layout ribbon.

Click the small icon in the bottom right corner of the Cell Size group.

If you have an older version of Word, you need to use the Table menu, Table Properties choice to get there.

In all versions, you’re looking for the Cell tab in the Table Properties dialogue window. Click the Options button.

In the Cell Options dialogue window, you’re looking to select the “Fit Text” checkbox.

Click OK.

You’ll then be returned to the Table Properties dialogue window, where you’ll need to click OK again to return to your document.

Voila! Your text is kept on one line, the font size hasn’t officially changed, so editing later won’t be a nightmare and you still have a beautiful table. It doesn’t get any better than that!

~ April