Table Preferred width is changed when pasting

Nov 22, 2016
Reaction score
Hello All,

We just recently upgraded to Office 2016. My documents have many tables. I use Styles to control the formatting in individual cells. The table is created with fixed columns. I generated it adding a table, selecting the entire table, then the going to table properties. First thing I did was go to the Table Tab, Options, deselecting Automatically resize to fit contents, deselecting Allow spacing between cells, and defining the cell margins (Top=Bottom=0.02", Left=Right=0.04"). Click OK twice. Then I go back in to change the column widths. Under the Table tab, the Preferred Width is unselected.

Major issue is that if I paste something into a cell or copy part of the table for use elsewhere, the Preferred Width is selected and will mess up the table/column width. I am sure this has to do with Microsoft thinking they know what I want (NOT!). But I need this to stop. Any ideas?

Two other questions:
How can I change the cell margins to default to (Top=Bottom=0.02", Left=Right=0.04")? Office uses the default values of (Top=Bottom=0.0", Left=Right=0.08").

I have the Row height unselected, yet I sometimes lose the lower part of the characters (like "g", "p", "y"). I do use center vertical alignment for all the cells.

Thanks for your help in advance.

Mchael Virostko


Microsoft MVP
Mar 2, 2012
Reaction score
If you're trying to use predefined widths for the columns, you need to set the preferred width for them. If you don't also set the preferred width for the table, the table can then change width to accommodate new content. As a result, the preferred widths for the columns merely tell Word how to scale the column widths when it rescales the table.

As for the table defaults, you might try creating a Quick Part containing a basic table with the desired configuration, or using a template with it; otherwise you'd need to alter the relevant Table Style.

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question