How to Move a Table in Microsoft Word

Knowing how to move a table in Word is an important skill for creating professional documents. Whether you need to rearrange content or fix formatting issues, moving tables gives you more control over your Word files. This guide covers several methods for moving tables in Word on Windows and Mac.

Drag and Drop to Move a Table

The easiest way to move a table in Word is by dragging and dropping it. To move a table using drag and drop:

  1. Click anywhere in the table to select it. Control+A also selects the entire table.
  2. Hover over the table handle in the upper-left corner until the cursor changes to a four-headed arrow.
  3. Click and drag the table to the new location. A dotted outline shows where the table will be inserted.
  4. Release the mouse button to drop the table into place.

Drag and drop lets you move a table anywhere on the current page. It works best for small adjustments within a document.

Cut, Copy, and Paste a Table

For more flexibility moving tables between documents or large distances, use the cut and paste or copy and paste commands.

To cut and paste a table:

  1. Select the entire table.
  2. Go to the Home tab and click Cut or press Ctrl/Command + X. The table disappears.
  3. Place the insertion point where you want the table to appear.
  4. Go to the Home tab and click Paste or press Ctrl/Command + V to insert the table.

To copy and paste a table:

  • Follow the same steps but click Copy or press Ctrl/Command + C instead of using Cut. This leaves the original table in place and inserts a duplicate.

Cutting and pasting moves the existing table to a new spot. Copying and pasting inserts a second instance of the table while preserving the original.

Use Find and Replace

The Find and Replace tool lets you search for tables and insert them in specific spots.

To move a table with Find and Replace:

  1. Select the entire table and copy it.
  2. Click the Home tab and find the Replace option.
  3. Click Replace to open the Find and Replace sidebar.
  4. Under the Find What field, press Ctrl/Command + V to paste the table.
  5. Below in the Replace With field, press Ctrl/Command + V to paste the table again. This sets your search term and replace term to the same table.
  6. Click the More button and select Find All Word Forms.
  7. Click Replace All.
  8. In the confirmation box, click Yes to replace the table with itself, moving it to the top of the document.

Find and Replace moves all instances of a table to the top of the document. From there, you can cut the table and move it manually to any location.

Align a Table

Rather than moving a table manually, Word includes alignment tools similar to aligning text and images. Aligning snaps a table to the left, right, or center margin.

To align a table:

  1. Click in the table and go to the Layout tab.
  2. Find the Alignment group.
  3. Click Align Left, Align Center, or Align Right depending on where you want the table.

Text alignment moves the entire table as a unit. It works well for quick positioning without precise placement.

Adjust Text Wrapping

Text wrapping controls whether text sits next to or flows around a table. Changing the wrap settings can help position a table.

To wrap text around a table:

  1. Select the table and go to Layout > Properties.
  2. Select the Text Wrapping tab.
  3. Choose Around under Wrapping style.
  4. Adjust the distance between text and the table borders using the Positioning section.
  5. Click OK.

With text wrapped around it, you can drag a table to fine-tune its location relative to the text.

Move a Table Between Documents

To reuse tables in multiple Word files, you can move them between open documents.

To copy an entire table between documents:

  1. Display both Word documents on the screen at once.
  2. Select the table you want to move in the first document.
  3. Press Ctrl/Command + C to copy the table.
  4. Click in the second document and place the insertion point where you want the table to appear.
  5. Press Ctrl/Command + V to paste the table.

This copies and pastes a table between two documents without affecting the original table. You can also cut and paste to move the existing table instead of copying it.

Conclusion

Whether you want to realign tables or reuse them in other files, knowing how to move tables gives you flexibility when working in Word. Try dragging and dropping for quick changes or cutting and pasting for more advanced moves between documents. With practice, you can efficiently position tables to create professional reports, invoices, manuals, and more.

Citations:
[1] https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/office/move-or-copy-a-table-3b7a6338-4170-4a9c-bf46-e969d10bad40
[2] https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/all/in-word-2013-i-have-a-multi-paged-table-i-cant/022e62a2-082f-42e5-bdaf-7445480dacc7
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