How to prevent Word table row from breaking across pages

Well, table row breaking across page is a common frustration. I will give the answer. But there is a much more important learning to be done here. Read on…

Table row breaking

You know this problem already

It is a particularly frustrating problem. All of us have found our own solutions to the issue.

Here are some common ones –

  • Press ENTER ENTER ENTER – a very popular method
  • Split table
  • Add extra space in the row above
  • Increase the row height
  • Press CTRL Enter (try to break the page somehow)
  • and so on


Needless to say all these methods are inefficient because we are violating the
Dr Nitin’s Law of Efficiency –
If YOU are helping the software – it means your method is inefficient!

In case you don’t remember, that software is supposed to help you Smile

But it also means that your frustration must have been noticed by Microsoft and they must have provided the solution to it.

The real problem: We never even attempted to find the solution

The solution has to be on the MENU on top – the Ribbon. Why not in right click? Because this problem is NOT just with the current row. Potentially, any of these rows will break eventually. So we must look at a global solution (in the context of the table). Global solution means main menu. Local solution means Right Click.

First of all select the entire table – so that we solve the problem for ALL rows – rather than the row which has currently misbehaved.

It is a layout problem. And we are talking about the behavior of the table – we are not really changing any visible formatting there. Therefore, we go to Properties. All other buttons change something visually.

In properties, we have Rows tab and there we finally find our solution:
Allow Rows to break across pages.

WOW! someone had thought of this problem long back – 18 years to be precise.

Just think… what were we doing?

Now the breaking row behaves correctly. It moves to the next page. But if there is enough space on the previous page, the entire row will come up.

In short, the table knows how to behave itself. You don’t have to worry about it now.

That is called “Word is helping you” = efficiency

Key learning:
Frustration while working = Efficient Method is available for sure!
You just have to go and find the solution in the menus.

What Next

I will cover it in another article. But it is also a good idea to keep the cursor in first row of the table and choose Repeat Header Row option. If the table breaks, the header should repeat. Right?

Even more thought? Every time you create a table it is a good idea to manage both these settings anyway. Prevent both problems upfront.

Nice. But do you want to apply these settings EVERY TIME you create a table? Lifelong? Hmmm – sounds inefficient.

Of course there is a better way. Which will cover in a separate article. It is called Quick Tables. A reusable template for common tables.


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