Word is repaginating – “dancing” table problem!

I refer to a table as a dancing table when a table in your Microsoft Office Word document changes it’s width on its own (as shown in the video example below), most often this happens when you have a table within the header and footer of you document.

The reason for such problem to occur is that Microsoft Office Word calculates in a wrong way the table width. This is due to different Page Set up settings on different sections in one document. When the table width is percent and the table spreads over more than one page the width calculation goes wrong and the table starts to “dance” from one width to another.

To stop this error, which often causes repaginating,  you will need to enter the table width in points/inches/centimetres. If you for any reason want to get 100% width you can first adjust the parameter to 100% and than switch it back to points – this rule is valid for any percentage that you might want to achieve.

One other tip is that if your table is in the header and footer section of your document and you have pages with different Page Set up like portrait and landscape you will need to put section break between each Page Set up change, from portrait to landscape and back from landscape to portrait. Than you would remove the “Same as previous” setting in your header and set different table widths for each table.

With large documents such “dancing” tables can lead to repaginating and slow operation. That is why you should always try to avoid using percentage as a table width where tables spread on more than one page!