Editing Table Cell Margins in Microsoft Word

If you do a lot of work in Microsoft Word documents, it can be very helpful to know where to find the various options for styling a table. Sometimes tweaking cell padding or cell margins is all you need to turn a difficult, cramped table into an inviting, easy to read one.

Here’s how to modify the cell padding in a table.

Let’s start with a table that looks like this. This is what many default tables look like in Word.

It’s a little cramped. If you look closely, you can see that there’s cell padding on the left and right of each table cell, but none on the tops and bottoms. Let’s fix that! Generous cell margins can make a table feel less cluttered and more readable.

  1. Select the whole table: Hover over the table and then click the icon that appears in the upper left corner.

  2. Right click the table and choose Table Properties from the menu.
  3. In the new window, choose Options in the lower right corner.

  4. Under Default cell margins, set each of the four options to 05”.

  5. Click OK and then OK again.

This small amount of cell padding makes a big difference!