Software

Insert a line above a Word table at the top of the page

If you've ever gotten stuck trying to add text above a table at the beginning of a document, this tip's for you -- and you won't believe how easy it is.
You've just created a table beginning on the first line of the first page of your document. After you've completed your table, shown in Figure A, you decide to add a caption above it.

Figure A

word table

But when you try clicking the mouse above the table, the mouse keeps positioning itself in the first cell of the table, not above it. You could insert an extra row above the first to give yourself a place to type, but then you would have to remove the borders and merge the cells after typing the caption. Fortunately, you don't need to do all that formatting. Simply follow these steps to insert a blank line above the table:

  1. Click in the upper left-hand corner of the first cell in the first row (before any text).
  2. Press the Enter key.

Word inserts a line above the table and positions the mouse pointer at the beginning of the line, where you can now type the caption (Figure B).

Figure B

text above table


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22 comments
SonomaConstance
SonomaConstance

Wow! How easy. Putting the cursor before the text and hitting "Enter" is all it took. THANK YOU!

kludklud
kludklud

I spent hours looking for a solution to this *expletive* problem.... even Microsoft has it wrong on their page. Here is what worked for me: Place your cursor in the left-hand top box of the table, in front of any text, hold CTRL and press ENTER. This won't work on tables with repeating table headers.

michael_mccloskey
michael_mccloskey

If you select the table, then right-click, one of your options is to insert a caption and it defaults to "Above selected item". Alos, pressing Ctrl+Home places you above the table and then pressing Enter creates the line above the table.

sheila
sheila

Ctrl Shift Enter is the most reliable way to create a blank line above a table. This is also the Table Break shortcut, ie click at the top of the left hand cell immediately below where you want your table to break and hit Ctrl Shift Enter. To reassemble the table press Delete in the blank space.

Maine PC
Maine PC

As the article states, the table needs to be at the beginning of the first line of the first page for Enter alone to work. But, Ctrl-Shift-Enter works with a table anywhere in the document. And the cursor can be anywhere in the top row. You can also split a table by putting the cursor anywhere in any row. Hit Ctrl-Shift-Enter to get a paragraph return separating the rows above the cursor row from the row with the cursor and those below. Quicker than using the Ribbon - Table Tools, Layout tab, Split Table in Merge group. This works in Word 2007 with tables set up in Word or with data copied in from Excel. Not sure if it will work in other versions of Word.

cguckert
cguckert

You can do the same thing with any table in a document (either at top of page or within the document) by clicking on "Split Table" in the Table menu.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Press Ctrl+Home (twice if you like!), then press Enter. Works every time, ever since Word 6. edit: spell

dcb112
dcb112

didn't work for me either Word 97

ascott
ascott

When I try this it only highlights the first cell so hitting enter just deletes the data in that cell. I am using Word 2007 if that makes a difference

draack
draack

Thanks to all of you lovely people, I now know 3 different ways to do something that has cause me *loads* of frustration. Thanks so much!

kayleasfan
kayleasfan

Word 2007. Thanks for the tip. I can't believe how easy the solution is.

wendy.darlow
wendy.darlow

Place the cursor at the beginning of the word in the first cell. Press the left arrow key. the cursor moves above the cells.

danidina7
danidina7

Just hover over where you get the 4 arrow symbol (don't click) then press enter.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Ctrl+Home, Enter edited after the last site upgrade decided that anything inside the $lt; and $gt; was html code and should be blanked.

kdavis
kdavis

This only seems to work if the table is at the top of the page. If there is anything in the cell you need to see the "I" insertion cursor before you click Enter. If there is already an paragraph mark above the table, I got a line insertion within the cell. If the table was the first thing on the page, I got a new line above the table. I'm using Word 2003.

mwb78
mwb78

You're right. If the whole cell is selected (highlighted), you will delete the contents by pressing ENTER. The whole cell is selected when your mouse pointer appears as an arrow when you click. I often end up with the entire cell selected when I am trying to simply click in to edit it. When this happens, simply click again until the selection goes away and you see the insertion point at the beginning of the cell; if need be, use the keyboard to move the insertion point to the beginning of the cell.

BRS
BRS

Works just fine in Office 2003 thanks

lysted
lysted

Worked for me - Thanks

lysted
lysted

I found that this added a page + a line in Word 2003, the other methods used worked fine.

ahc.business
ahc.business

First, I have no idea why your suggestion only works for some. Maybe: Word versions, OS's, settings. No idea, but it doesn't. WORKS FOR SURE: 1. Highlight the entire table - maybe start with mouse a line above and drag to mark a line below (other things work but this is universal too) 2. Edit/Cut the table (crtl X) 3. Table is gone. 4. Add some blank lines 5. Edit/Paste 6. Table is back with some lines above it. 7. Use as normal. comment: TechREpublic shouldn't be so greedy in getting so much info from me in order to post a comment. Maybe you lose 8 out of 10 who would otherwise reply? You need a great reason to waste peoples time. Sharing info has a lot of faces.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

There should have been a space or a LF between and . Thus: Ctrl+Home Enter - or - Ctrl+Home Enter edited: see my post above