Word Tables allow rows to break across page


Posted: September 1, 2021

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, if it just doesn't move you may be questioning just what is up with the Table

There are many reasons this could be happening.

Control a Word Table split

In this blog I've included the following tips to help you control where your Table or row splits.

Use these as steps to check if Table properties and settings are the reason your Word Table or row isn't splitting and instead moving on to the next page.

And check out the quick fix for if your Header rows aren’t repeating once you have your Table-split in place.

1. 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 document with two pages. The first page has one paragraph of writing and the rest is blank with a big red question mark placed there. The second page has the Word Table on it.

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

Fix #1 - Check if rows have been formatted as 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.

Top left of Word Table with the mouse selecting the arrow in the top left. The text in the Table is all selected.

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

Word Ribbon in the Home tab with paragraph settings pointed out in a red box

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.

Paragraph dialogue box in Line and Page Breaks tab with Widow/Orphan control and Keep with next selected

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 may be 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. 

Layout tab on the Ribbon with Repeat Header Rows option shown with red box around it

2. Entire Table row is moving to the next page

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 document with two pages. The first page has the Table with a gap at the bottom of the page and a red question mark over the gap. The next page has the last row of the Table

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

Layout tab in the Word Ribbon with Properties on the left shown in a red box

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.

Table Properties in the Row tab with Allow row to break across pages selected

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. 

Layout tab with the Text Direction option shown in a red box and Option 2 in the Word Table shown in a red box

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

Table Properties dialogue box in the Row tab with specify height being 2cm and Row height is At least

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.

3. 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 Layout tab with Repeat Header rows selected with a caption pointing to it saying Repeat Header Rows is selected but not working. No Header row on the second page Table with a caption ointing to it saying Missing Header Row. Table Properties dialogue box open in Table tab with Alignment Left selected and Text Wrapping Around selected with a caption pointing to Text Wrapping None saying Change the 'Around' setting to 'None'

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

Word Table on two pages with Header Row on both pages

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 with the bottom row selected

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

Word Ribbon in HOme tab with the Paragraph Settings shown in a red box

Step 3: Click the Line and Page Breaks tab.

Step 4: Now select the Page break before option.

Paragraph dialogue box in Line and Page Breaks tab with Window/Orphan control and Page break before selected

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

Word document with two pages and the Word Table on both with Header rows

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