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Word table cell expands with text

Posted on 2012-09-04
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Last Modified: 2012-09-06
Hi Experts

I have a word document, that has a table on the front page - I want to create a similar version of the document (not exactly the same), I have created a table on the copied document, However the created table on the copy cells expands on to the second page as soon as I enter more text then the cell can I handle, on the source the table doesnt expand.

What setting is ued for "locking" the cell position - I cant seen to find it.

Iv attached the sheets as an example, if you enter =rnd(10), you will see the problem.
Locked.docx
Unlocked.docx
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Question by:MrDavidThorn
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Expert Comment

by:GrahamSkan
ID: 38363556
In both documents you have row height set to 'exactly', so I suppose it is the cell width that gives the problem.  I notice that you have the table option 'Automatically resize to fit contents' ticked in the Unlocked,  and not in the Locked document.
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Expert Comment

by:GrahamSkan
ID: 38363597
Incidentally, in Word, if you want a table (or any text) to fit on a single one page, do allow some free space at the bottom. Otherwise a change such as a different printer driver could cause the text to overflow.
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Author Comment

by:MrDavidThorn
ID: 38363621
yes checked those settings and the unlocked table still expands
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 38363805
Assuming you are using MSOffice 2007 or later, when you place the cursor anywhere in a table, the Table Tools tab appears in the menu tabs.

Click on the Table Tools Layout tab and select Table Properties (on the left). Now click on the Row tab, ckeck Specify height and add a value. Now, no matter how many lines of text you put in the cell, the height will not change:Adjust Row Height
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by:Eric Fletcher
ID: 38363888
At first I thought Graham's point was the obvious solution, but when I tested it, the "don't resize" cell resized anyway -- even after resaving the document.

However, I note that your examples have a very complex table structure, and I wonder if you could simplifying things to avoid the problem. For example, if you start at the 1st cell and tab from it to the next repeatedly, adding a sequential letter or number in each, several cells get overwritten (i.e. the 6th is overwritten as the 9th, 12th, 16th, 19th, and the 17th is overwritten by the 20th, etc.). This is certainly not normal behaviour in a table (i.e. where each tab press should take you to the next cell in the structure) and I am not even clear how such a table could be constructed. With complexity like this, I would not be overly surprised if Word's functions work unpredictably.

I would be inclined to start afresh. Your table appears to be structured to fit precisely over a preprinted form, but it is usually easier to adjust the cell dimensions after you have set up the basic structure.

Start by creating a "normal" table of 3 columns with Word's default table settings and with the style set to Normal so content is visible. Populate the cells in the order you want with the content from what you have here (the set of bookmarks). If the content is coming in from some application, test it to ensure the needed elements get included.

To manage the formatting, start by setting the overall table properties you need (see below for comment about the page layout), then go through the cells from R1C1 to set the properties (row height, column width, split, etc.) If you are trying to fit a form, consider scanning a copy of it and insert it as an image "Behind text' in a header so you see it "through" the table being adjusted.

Your page layout doesn't seem to fit the table function. With the wide left margin (3.03"), your table needs to be set indented from the left at -2.44" to shift it to your left margin. If you adjust the page setup to use a left margin of 0.59", the table could be set left to the margin. (Note: I realize this may be deliberate if other pages need the margins you've chosen. Also, the numbers suggest you may be using metric dimensions, so I apologize for the less useful inch values.)
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Expert Comment

by:GrahamSkan
ID: 38363895
When I open the 'Locked' document, the last row already appears on the second page. The Unlocked document also runs to two pages, but there is only an empty paragraph on the second page. It may be that the table is such a tight fit that it cannot be guaranteed to stay on one page.

Actually, not all rows have the height rule set to 'Exactly'. Only when I enter text into one of those is there any visible difference in the table size. Is that a particular cell that gives the problem?
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Author Comment

by:MrDavidThorn
ID: 38364111
Sorry I know the forms are reasonably complex, unfortunately there a standard business form that cannot be changed.


It’s the last cell that’s causing the problem, If you see in the attached examples, you can type in the last cell in locked.docx and it text will not shift on to the second page, but when you enter text into last cell in unlocked.docx , the table will grow to the next page.

Im also using office 2010.
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Assisted Solution

by:Eric Fletcher
Eric Fletcher earned 750 total points
ID: 38364421
Like Graham, the table in your "Locked.docx" file appears on 2 pages when I open it. This is in part due to dimensions in your page setup and the table set within your first page footer. Your page setup specifies a bottom margin of 1.08" and a footer at 0.22" from the bottom, but the 1st page footer is a table with anoverall height that pushes the bottom margin up almost 2".

The "Unlocked.docx" file does not include the 1st page footer, so has more room to fit the table on that first page.

I'm still concerned about how tabbing through the table does not work as it should. Something is interfering with Word's table logic to get the results I see. I used Table Properties to set the row heights to exactly 0.5" & cell vertical alignment to Top spacing, then set everything to the Normal style with no paragraph space before or after so anything being typed would be visible. Then, starting in R1C1, I typed 1 <tab> 2<tab> 3, etc. to put a single sequential number in each cell. The weird stuff happens starting after typing in cell #8 (the thin box in the middle column): the <tab> goes back to cell #6 so typing "9" overwrites it. Ditto with 12, 16 & 19 as I pointed out earlier.

Can you explain the logic here? I'm not even sure how such behaviour could be created in a table.
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Accepted Solution

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GrahamSkan earned 750 total points
ID: 38364553
The last cell in both document is set to 'At Least', and not to 'Exactly', but in the Locked document is it covered with a text box, so you don't actually type into the cell, but into the text box.
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