September 1

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Word Tables allow rows to break across page

By Sharyn Baines

September 1, 2021

Formatting, Tables

There are times when you find an entire Word Table or entire row move to a new page, leaving a large empty space in your document.

When this happens, you may find yourself wasting a lot of time trying to bring the Table or row back to where you would like it placed. However, it just won’t move, leaving you questioning just what is up with the Table

There are many reasons this could be happening.

In this blog I’ll cover the things you can check to ensure you can control where your Word Table or row splits, AND a quick fix for when your Header rows aren’t repeating once you have your Table-split in place.

Entire Word Table moving to next page

If the entire Word Table is moving to a new page it may be that the Table has been formatted so that ALL rows stay together and don’t split over multiple pages.

Word table split

To check if this is the cause, check the following settings.

Fix #1 - All rows are set to ‘Keep with Next’

The Paragraph setting Keep with Next allows you to force rows to stay together. This option is fabulous if you are wanting the entire Table or maybe just a few rows to always remain together. 

However, if you are unaware that this setting is turned on, it can be super frustrating trying to work out why your Table or rows are moving to a new page. 

Removing this setting will allow your Table rows to move as normal.

Step 1: Select the entire Table.

Tip: you can easily do this simply by clicking the arrows at the top left of the Table.

Word table split

Step 2: From the Home tab, click the Paragraph launcher arrow. This will open the Paragraph dialog box.

Word table split

Step 3: Click the Line and Page Breaks tab.

Step 4: If the Keep with next option is checked, this is what may be causing the Table to move. Remove the check from the Keep with next box and then click OK.

Word table split

Step 5: Word will now treat every row as an individual row and not try to keep all rows together on the same page.

Fix #2: All rows are set to ‘Repeat Header Rows’

The Repeat Header Rows option is fabulous when you require the Header row of the Table repeated at the top of your Table if it spans multiple pages. 

However, if every row has been set to be a Header Row the entire Table will move to a new page.

To fix this, select the entire Table and from the Table Layout tab click Repeat Header Rows to turn off the option.

If you require the Header row to be repeated, only select the top row or rows that are required and click Repeat Header Rows to turn the option on for only the selected rows. 

Word table split

Allow row to break across pages

Every Table has pre-set properties which can be customised to suit your needs. 

One property that can be customised is how rows split between pages.

If you are finding the content of a row isn’t splitting over on to the next page, but instead moving the entire row to the next page it may be that a Row property has been changed to allow this to happen.

Word table split

To check if this is the cause, check the following Table Properties settings.

Fix #1: Allow rows to break across pages isn’t selected

Step 1: Select the row or rows that are moving to the next page.

Step 2: From the Table Layout tab, select Properties

Word table split

Step 3: The Table Properties dialog box will open.

Step 4: Select the Row tab. If the Allow row to break across pages option isn’t checked, this is what is causing the entire row to move on to the next page. Place a check in the Allow row to break across pages box.

Word table split

Step 5: Click OK. Your row will now split over multiple pages.

Fix #2: Allow rows to break across pages is greyed out

If the Allow row to break across pages option is greyed out, please check if your row contains text with a Text Direction other than horizontal. 

Word table split

A Text Direction setting other than horizontal will set the Allow row to break across pages option to greyed out.

Word table split

It’s a simple fix. Just set the text direction back to horizontal and the Allow row to break across pages option will be available again.

Word Table Header row not repeating

Once you have your Table or row split you may still have the problem of your Header row not repeating.

There are two main causes for this.

Fix #1 Table Properties Text wrapping

The Table Properties setting for Text wrapping may be set to Around.

Step 1: To check this, from the Table Layout tab click Table Properties.

Step 2: On the Table tab, check if the Text wrapping option is set to Around. If it is, change this option to None.

Step 3: Click OK.

Word table split

Your Header row should now be repeating on to the next page.

Word table split

Fix #2 Repeat Header row on a split Table

If you have split your Table manually using a page break, the Header row will not repeat on to following page.

If you would like the Header row to repeat follow the steps below instead of inserting a page break manually.

Step 1: Select the row that you would like to start on the next page.

Word table split

Step 2: From the Home tab, click the Paragraph launcher arrow. This will open the Paragraph dialog box.

Word table split

Step 3: Click the Line and Page Breaks tab.

Step 4: Now select the Page break before option.

Word table split

Step 5: Click OK. The Header row will now be repeated at the top of your Table.

Word table split

Was this blog helpful? Let us know in the Comments below.

If you enjoyed this post check out the related posts below.

Sharyn Baines

About the author

Sharyn is an expert trainer. She became the first certified Microsoft® MOUS Authorised Instructor in New Zealand. She is endorsed by Microsoft® as a qualified Microsoft® Office Specialist and has more than 20 years of experience in the training industry, developing and delivering technology training workshops. Her approach to taking the “techie-speak” out of technology training has placed her as a preferred supplier to many of New Zealand’s leading organisations.

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