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  1. #1
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    Selecting cells in column--Word table (W2K 9.0.3821 SR-1)

    Picture this: I have a six-page document, 99 percent of which is one large table. The table has six columns; I want to add another between the first and second columns. I add the new column, and then I proceed to select that column by dragging my mouse from top to bottom. (I want to format the text in that column.) I'm careful to keep the mouse pointer inside the column as I drag, and everything goes well until...suddenly the selection flies off to the right and selects the cells in the columns to the right--but just for one row! After I pass that row, the selection returns to the single column! What on earth could cause such behavior? BTW, someone else created this document long ago, and there appear to be a number of weird behaviors in it. The document has been copied, modified, added to and otherwise monkeyed with countless times by several people.

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    Re: Selecting cells in column--Word table (W2K 9.0.3821 SR-1)

    "One of these rows is not like the others"

    I can't explain how the row in the middle of your table could have an extra, seemingly invisible column in it; if someone attached the row from a different table, that could do it. Other causes may exist. But you should fix it ASAP.

    My strategy for decorrupting tables is to convert them to tab-separated text, look for extra tabs, then convert back to a table. Generally speaking, the cell sizes and font formatting are preserved in this process, but if different cells have different paragraph formats, that will have to be re-done.

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    Re: Selecting cells in column--Word table (W2K 9.0.3821 SR-1)

    "Table > TableAutoFormat..." also often does a nice job.

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>Klaus

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    Re: Selecting cells in column--Word table (W2K 9.0.3821 SR-1)

    And just to add a tip for selecting an entire column - you do not have to drag the mouse down the entire column to select it! - just hover the mouse pointer over the top of the column until the pointer turns into a down arrow, then click - this is especially useful when working with tables that are many pages long.

    As for the extra cell highlighting in one row, per Jefferson's suggestion, the most likely cause for this was that someone pasted in a row from an incompatible table, at some earlier point. It could also be caused by someone having merged, added, or otherwise messed with the width of the cells in that row only. It's virtually impossible to put a broken column like that back together; usually you need to recreate a clean table layout from scratch.

    Gary

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    Re: Selecting cells in column--Word table (W2K 9.0.3821 SR-1)

    Hi Gary,

    And while we are at shortcuts: Alt+left-clicking in a cell also selects the column; drag to select several columns.

    I don't agree that you "usually need to recreate a clean table from scratch". As long as the number of cells is still the same in all rows, both Jefferson's method and TableAutoFormat will fix the table fine, no matter how the table was messed up.

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>Klaus

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    Re: Selecting cells in column--Word table (W2K 9.0.3821 SR-1)

    I agree with Klaus <font color=blue>"As long as the number of cells is still the same in all rows"</font color=blue>

    If you know which row(s) has/have the problem, because you can see where the selection looks too wide, you can often fix this by the sensible application of "Merge Cells" and "Split Cells".

    StuartR

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    Re: Selecting cells in column--Word table (W2K 9.0.3821 SR-1)

    Thanks Klaus (and Stuart) for pointing out alternative methods. I was thinking in terms of the kind of tables I do a lot of work with - these are financial tables that require special layouts so things like AutoFit and convert to text>table can't be used. We use autotexts rather than Table > Insert to get new tables, and I've got a bunch of macros for formatting and laying out the tables. Been focusing on these for so long that I tend to forget the workarounds that are available for 'simple' Word tables. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Gary

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    Re: Selecting cells in column--Word table (W2K 9.0.3821 SR-1)

    Wow! Thanks to everyone for all the great suggestions! I'd feared the only solution might be rebuilding from scratch--a prospect I did NOT look forward to!

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    Re: Selecting cells in column--Word table (W2K 9.0.3821 SR-1)

    Hi Lucas:
    I see you've gotten many solutions, but here's one more. The cause, incidentally, was probably a combination of split & merged cells, which can create this behavior. One simple solution would be to place the cursor at the end of the row above the problem row (just to the right of the table). Then press enter, which will insert a row with the formatting of the upper row (normally, inserting a row inserts it above the cursor & uses the same formatting as the row below). Now just select & drag the text up cell by cell & then delete your corrupt row.

    Hope this helps.

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    Re: Selecting cells in column--Word table (W2K 9.0.3821 SR-1)

    Thanks, Phil. I'll try this approach when I return to work tomorrow.

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