How to Shrink a Table in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide to Resizing

Learning to shrink a table in Microsoft Word is a handy skill. It involves resizing the table, adjusting column and row dimensions, and sometimes tweaking the text size within the table. In a few steps, you can have a smaller, more compact table that fits perfectly in your document.

How to Shrink a Table in Word

In the following steps, you’ll learn how to resize your table, adjust column widths and row heights, and fine-tune the text within your table to make it more compact.

Step 1: Select the Table

First, select the table by clicking the small square with arrows at the top-left corner of the table.

After you’ve selected your table, it will be highlighted. This means you can now make changes to its overall size and structure.

Step 2: Resize the Table

Use the resizing handle at the bottom-right corner of the table to drag and resize the entire table.

Dragging the handle will change the size of the table proportionally. Make sure to pay attention to how your content adjusts as you resize.

Step 3: Adjust Column Widths

Hover over the borders between columns until you see a double-sided arrow. Click and drag to adjust the width of each column.

Narrowing down the columns can free up extra space in your document, making the table look less cluttered and more organized.

Step 4: Adjust Row Heights

Hover over the borders between rows until you see a double-sided arrow. Click and drag to adjust the height of each row.

Reducing row heights can make your table look more compact. Be cautious not to make the rows too small, as this could make the text hard to read.

Step 5: Modify Text Size

Highlight the text inside the table, then go to the Home tab and adjust the font size to make the text smaller.

Smaller text will naturally reduce the overall size of the table. However, ensure that the text remains legible.

Once you’ve completed these actions, your table will appear smaller and more streamlined. This will help it fit better in your document without sacrificing readability.

Tips for How to Shrink a Table in Word

  • Consider using the AutoFit feature under Table Tools to automatically resize columns and rows based on the content.
  • If the table still looks too large, try reducing the table margins in the Table Properties menu.
  • Remove any unnecessary content that may be taking up extra space.
  • Use the "Merge Cells" feature to combine columns or rows that contain similar data, reducing overall table size.
  • Double-check the readability of your table after resizing, as too small text or cramped cells can be hard to read.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I shrink a table without distorting the content?

Use the resizing handle at the bottom-right corner of the table while holding the Shift key to maintain proportions.

Can I resize specific columns without affecting the whole table?

Yes, hover over the column border until you get a double-sided arrow, then click and drag to adjust just that column.

How do I make the text smaller within the table?

Highlight the text, go to the Home tab, and select a smaller font size.

Is there an automatic way to shrink a table?

Use the AutoFit feature under Table Tools to automatically adjust the size based on the content.

Can I reduce the space between table cells?

Yes, go to Table Properties and adjust the cell margins to reduce the space between cells.


  1. Select the table.
  2. Resize the table.
  3. Adjust column widths.
  4. Adjust row heights.
  5. Modify text size.


Shrinking a table in Word isn’t as complicated as it might seem. By following these steps, you can resize your table to fit better within your document. Smaller tables can make your document look cleaner and more professional. Whether you’re working on a school project, business report, or any other Word document, knowing how to shrink a table can come in handy.

Additionally, keep in mind the tips provided to make the process even smoother. From using the AutoFit feature to adjusting cell margins, there’s a lot you can do to fine-tune your table. And don’t forget to check out the frequently asked questions if you run into any issues.

After mastering these steps, you’ll be able to handle tables in Word like a pro. Happy formatting!