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Word 2013 Table Layout Change
(A Microsoft Word Help & Tip page by Gregory K. Maxey)

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The purpose of this Microsoft Word Tips & Microsoft Word Help page is to describe a significant layout change in default tables created with Word 2013.

I'm also providing two simple VBA workaround solutions:

Layout Change

The illustrations below depict tables inserted in a Word 2013 document and a Word 2010 document and shows the layout change introduced in Word 2013.

word2013Tables1
Word 2013 Table

Word2013Tables2
Word 2010 Table
(Similar layout with all earlier Word versions)

Why the change

According to Microsoft, the change is a result of an improved (debatable and subject to personal preference) layout engine introduced in Word 2013:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2740483/en-us

 

Workarounds

If you want to make a table inserted using Word 2013 look more like a table inserted using an earlier version of Word, simply insert the table, put the cursor in the table and run this code:

VBA Script:
Sub UndoWord2013TableLayout()
 Dim oTbl As Word.Table
 Dim dblWidth As Double
 Set oTbl = Selection.Tables(1)
 dblWidth = oTbl.PreferredWidth
 If dblWidth = 0 Then
   dblWidth = ActiveDocument.PageSetup.PageWidth - (ActiveDocument.PageSetup.LeftMargin + ActiveDocument.PageSetup.RightMargin)
 End If
 oTbl.PreferredWidth = dblWidth + oTbl.RightPadding + oTbl.LeftPadding
 oTbl.Rows.LeftIndent = -oTbl.LeftPadding
 End Sub

If you want to make a table inserted using an earlier version of Word look more like a table inserted using Word 2013, simply insert the table, put the cursor in the table and run this code:

VBA Script:
Sub MakeWordEarlyTablesMoreLikeWord2013Tables()
 Dim oTbl As Word.Table
 Set oTbl = Selection.Tables(1)
 oTbl.PreferredWidth = ActiveDocument.PageSetup.PageWidth _
                       - (ActiveDocument.PageSetup.LeftMargin _
                       + ActiveDocument.PageSetup.RightMargin)
 oTbl.Rows.LeftIndent = oTbl.LeftPadding
 End Sub

Site Note icon See: Installing Macros for instructions on how to set up and use the macros provided in this Microsoft Word Help & Microsoft Word Tips page.

Special thanks to Word MVP Stefan Blom and regular Word Answers contributor Pam Caswell for their interest and input in preparing this tips page super.

That's it! I hope you have found this tips page useful and informative.

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