How do you set the default for all tables for ever so you don't have to set for each new table or doc?

Posted on 2013-01-17
Last Modified: 2016-04-10
i see that this has already been answered (ID 23608865), however, the solution is not working for me.  I have done this:

1. open Word 2007.
2. insert a table.
3. set the table properties to desired settings.  these are the differences from the default:
    - always use row 1 as a header.
    - uncheck the box for "allow row to break across pages"
4.  click the Design tab.  this brings up the screen shown in the previously published solution.
5.  right-click the first table style in the list.  this brings up the pop-up menu shown in the previously published solution.
6. Click "set as default" while the entire table is selected.
7. this brings up another pop-up which has a radio button choice for "do you want to set this style as the default table style for:   this document only/All documents based on the Normal.dotm template?
8. select the 2nd choice ("All documents based on the Normal.dotm template").
9. insert a new table into this document:  "allow row to break across pages" is still checked.
10. close the word document and open a new one, insert a table into this new document: "allow row to break across pages" is still checked.
Question by:RBECKMN
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Yagya Shree
ID: 38788659
You should make these changed to normal.dotm to ensure that each new word document by default takes these settings

Author Comment

ID: 38788923
close but not quite -- in order for this to work, the normal.dotm has to have a table in it.  this means that every time I open a new Word document, there's a table in it which is just plain obnoxious.  after saving normal.dotm with the table set to the desired defaults, then deleting the table and resaving normal.dotm reverts the default table settings back to Word's normal defaults - which is not the point here.  the point is to change the defaults for those times when a table is added to a Word document, not to create a template with a table that is set in some particular way.  

another problem with this method is that when a second table is added, it still has the unwanted settings even though the first table (that is part of the template) does not.
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:Paul Sauvé
Paul Sauvé earned 500 total points
ID: 38789527
I did the same thing last week using this article: Change Word's default table properties to suit the way you work.

It is not a definitive answer, but it's a start. I had to dick around for a bit, but I found that all I have to do now is select an appropriate paragraph style BEFORE creating a table from text, since I can't seem to get the paragraph style to stick! The trick is to modify the default Table Grid.

But it DOES fix the "allow row to break across pages" problem...
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Author Comment

ID: 38789883
thanks.  you're right on both counts - it's a start, but not a definitive answer.

1.  design tab doesn't show up until after a table is inserted, so no way to select the new table style until after the table is created.  maybe I don't understand your comment about BEFORE.

2.  definitely solves the problem with "allow rows to break across pages"

3.  introduces a new problem: lose the ability to have repeating header rows.  even when selected, the header rows don't repeat.  and even if the text wrapping is set to NONE, header rows don't repeat.

There should be a way to modify the defaults, perhaps by using code.  The .dotm template approach seems to be fraught with problems.  is there a way to read the .dotm template using code?  it must be a kind of data repository that is read by Word upon starting a new document.
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

Paul Sauvé earned 500 total points
ID: 38793739
Once you modify the default Table Grid and apply it to "All documents based on the Normal.dotm template" then all newly inserted tables will conform to the default table style.
3.  introduces a new problem: lose the ability to have repeating header rows.  even when selected, the header rows don't repeat.  and even if the text wrapping is set to NONE, header rows don't repeat.
I have not encountered problems with header rows, but I have not tried to set the default to have the first row as header since I don't always require this.
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 38799439
Two points:

1. Create an empty table (with in your case at least two rows) and use Properties to set it up the way you want it to look (including the header and "don't break over pages" row attributes). Select it and save it as a named Autotext entry. You can choose which template you want it to be saved within (see next point). Then, to create a new table, invoke the autotext with either Insert > Quick parts > Autotext or by typing the saved name and pressing F3. You can then populate the table as required.

2. With any task like this, consider creating a custom template rather than loading up the default Normal.dotm template. This would eliminate your problem of having a table appear whenever you create a new Word document (although it would appear if you created a new document using the custom template of course). More importantly, your Normal template can then safely be restored to "factory" settings if (when?) it becomes bloated (find it; rename or delete it; restart Word).

You will have more control over style definitions if you keep them in a custom template rather than let everything collect in the default one -- and having a separate template gives you more flexibility if you want to archive or share the document (because you can also archive or share the template along with it).
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 41543430
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