How to Center a Table Horizontally in Word in a Few Steps

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Microsoft Word comes with a wide range of options to ensure that your document looks good and includes everything your audience needs to understand what you’re trying to say.

It goes beyond just adding text and allows you to include tables so that you can organize your information in an easy-to-read format.

If you find that a table is the best way to convey information to your reader, you want to make sure it looks good in your document. It’s fine if it stands out from the rest of the text, but you don’t want it to look like it was randomly placed in the document. Having it centered can help with that endeavor.

Should you be wondering how to center a table horizontally in Word, there are several different ways to achieve your goal. We’ve compiled a list of those options to make the process simple and easy.

Changing the Size of the Table

Before getting into how to center a table horizontally in Word, you need to make sure that it’s the right size for the information you want to include.

When you first enter a table, even if it only has two columns, it will stretch it across the entire width of the document so that it touches the margins.

If this makes your information look unorganized or hard to read, then you need to change the size of the table to make it look good.

The easiest way to do this is manually.

Use Icons to Resize the Table

After you have created and inserted your table with the specified number of columns and rows, when you hover over the table, two icons will appear.

One is in the upper left-hand corner of the table and is a box with a cross in it. This allows you to select the entire table.

There is another icon that appears in the lower right-hand corner of the table. This is just an empty box. To change the size of the rows and columns to ensure that your information is easy to read, you can use this box to resize the table.

The nice thing about using this manual option is that it keeps the cell sizes on the table uniform.

Step 1_ Use Icons to Resize the Table

How to Center a Table Horizontally in Word

One of the great things about Word and other Microsoft programs is that they offer different ways to achieve the same goal. If you are wondering how to center a table horizontally in Word, you have the option of using keyboard shortcuts or options that are found on the toolbar or in dialogue boxes.

When you first insert a table into Word, depending on the size (how many columns you have), it will automatically center itself between the margins on the page. However, if you have a table with only a few columns that you don’t want to stretch from margin to margin, that may be when you find yourself wondering how to center a table horizontally in Word.

Here are some ways to achieve that goal.

Keyboard Shortcut

After resizing your table, you may find that it is no longer centered in the document. When it comes to how to center a table horizontally in Word, using keyboard shortcuts is a quick and easy way to get this done. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow.

Step 1: Select the Table

The first thing you’ll need to do when it comes to centering your table is to select which table you want to center.

Hover over the table so that the icons appear in the upper left-hand and lower right-hand corners. Then, click on the box in the upper left-hand corner with the cross in it.

Step 1_ Select the Table

Step 2: Press Ctrl+E

Once you have selected the table, if you are wondering how to center a table horizontally in Word using keyboard shortcuts, you will then hit Ctrl+E.

Press Ctrl+E

Menu Toolbar

Using the keyboard shortcut to center your table horizontally in Word is quick and easy, but it’s not exactly intuitive. Unless you have a list of all of the different shortcuts you can use, you may not remember that one in particular.

Luckily, there is another way to achieve your goal, and that is to use the toolbar that is always at the top of the page.

Here are the steps to use the toolbar if you are asking how to center a table horizontally in Word.

Menu Toolbar

Step 1: Select the Table

The first thing you need to do when it comes to how to center a table horizontally in Word is to select that table that needs to be centered.

Hover over the table until the icons appear in the corners. Click on the icon with the cross in a box in the upper left-hand corner.

Step 2: Find the Center Button

Once you have selected the table, you then need to go to the Home tab on your Word document and look for the Center icon.

This is the same one that you use to center text.

Step 3: Click the Center Button

When it comes to asking how to center a table horizontally in Word, after you have opened the Home tab, the alignment options are found in the center of the toolbar under the Paragraph section.

The Center option is a series of four lines that can be found second from the left. With your table still highlighted, click on this. Your table will then be centered horizontally between the margins on the page.

Step 3_ Click the Center Button

Table Properties

Another option you have if you are asking how to center a table horizontally in Word is the Table Properties dialogue box.

Step 1: Place the Cursor Inside the Table

Using your mouse, place the cursor in any cell of the table you want to center.

Step 2: Right Click the Mouse

After you have placed the cursor anywhere inside the table, you’ll then need to right-click your mouse.

This will open a dialogue box with a variety of options.

Table Properties - Step 2_ Right Click the Mouse

Step 3: Find the Table Properties Option

When determining how to center a table horizontally in Word, after you have right-clicked and brought up a menu of options, you’ll want to look for the one that says, “Table Properties.”

This is near the bottom of the list, and the words are accompanied by an icon of a table with a smaller box of dots.

Click on that option. After you do that, a dialogue box will appear on your screen.

Step 3_ Find the Table Properties Option

Step 4: Choose the Center Option

Within the dialogue box, you are given several options for formatting your table. One of those is to center it on the page.

This can be found under the “Alignment” header in the dialogue box, and the Center button is the middle option out of the three.

You will see an icon of a table with some lines underneath it. Below that is the word “Center.”

Click on this.

You should notice that a blue box appears around your selection.

Step 4_ Choose the Center Option

Step 5: Hit OK

If you are working on how to center a table horizontally in Word, after you have selected the Center option under the Table Properties dialogue box, you’ll then need to hit the “OK” button.

This will close the dialogue box, and you should notice that the table in your document moves to the central location between the two margins.

Step 5_ Hit OK

Different Ways to Achieve the Same Goal

No matter what size of table you create in Word, when you first insert it into the document, the edges will automatically touch the margins. If you need a table that large, then you don’t need to do anything else except add the information to the cells.

However, there may be times when smaller tables look better and present the information in a way that is easier to understand and read. When that occurs, you may be wondering how to center a table horizontally in Word.

As with most Microsoft documents, there are multiple ways to achieve this goal. These include the following:

Keyboard Shortcut

  • Highlight the entire table
  • Push CTRL+E

Toolbar

  • Highlight the table
  • Go to the Home tab on the toolbar
  • Find the “Center” option and click on it

Table Properties

  • Place the cursor in the table
  • Right click to open a list of options
  • Find “Table Properties” and click on it
  • Once the dialogue box is open, click on the “Center” option
  • Click “OK”

No matter which of these options you choose, when it comes to how to center a table horizontally in Word, you will get the same results. Your final document will look organized, which will make it look good.

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