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oaktrees

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Word Row Merging - Double Height After Merge is Avoidable?

In Word 2016, if I merge two rows, the rows merge well, content-wise.  But, the resulting row is twice as big.  So, seems like using merge rows merges not only content of the rows but also the area.  

So, one question leading to another.  Is this behavior correct?  And, if so, is there any way to merge the contents of the rows but keep the size?  The two rows in this case happen to be the same size.

As I write this question I can see the logical difficulty - how would Word know WHICH row is the size to keep? (In my case the two rows are the same height) but I suppose the answer would be "the preceding row's height".  

Wondering if there's any way, or something built-in I'm missing that does something approximate to this?

Many thanks,

OT
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Noah
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Thanks! :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))