Monday, May 17, 2010

How to fix Microsoft Word problem where text in last row of a table disappears

I have relied heavily on Googling for fixes to all of Microsoft Word's irritating glitches and bugs, so I am doing some "giving back" here.

I'm using Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac, and I kept having text inside the last row of a table go invisible. It's there sort of, it shows up in the Print Preview, and strangely the last line of the text in each cell of that row CAN be seen. I even tried making my table in another document, then copying and pasting it over and the text still vanished upon pasting. I saw some people complaining about this online but no fixes.

My eventual solution was to insert another row below the bottom one and make its height as small as I could. (0.2") As soon as the offending row was not the last, the text came back. If your table has a border, you may have to get rid of it around just those cells. In fact, for me that screwed up the rest of my borders, so I had to make those borders the same as my background color (white in this case) so the last row could not be seen.

I also noticed a bizarre bug where only the CENTER cell of my last row then looked like the text was doubled up, making it look bold. My table was inside of a text box, and when I stretched the bottom of the text box to accommodate the bigger table, that problem disappeared too.

There you go internet: another tip for coping with Word. Perhaps someone will find this and it will save them a few hours of headache.

27 comments:

JessieB said...

Wow. I actually banged my fist on my desk before finding your post! I'm so so grateful to you right about now! Many, many thanks.

Benjamin said...

this is quite a clever fix, but it actually doesnt solve the problem, it just hides it. i'm still looking for a solution.

there is a similar problem when you create a table the words in the bottom cell will be bold **if the text is more than one line**, but not for the last line of that text.

ie.(imagine this text is in a cell on the bottom row of a table):

this text is in the bottom
cell of the table and part
of it is bold and the last

line is not bold

if i find a solution i will report, meanwhile, thanks for the quickfix :)

M*P*Lockwood said...

That's true, technically this is not a "solution" in that it makes things work the way they should. I think that kind of solution would involve Microsoft fixing the problem. (I haven't checked if it's present in Office2010) I present it as a "solution" in that it solves the personal problem of "how do I make this look normal and be done with it?" If you find a fix for your related issue, I recommend posting something about it like I did so that it's Googlable. Good luck.

grateful said...

Thanks for this - much appreciated. I am using the Office 2011 for mac version of Word, and am having the exact same issue of disappearing text...so the bug is cross-generational, apparently.

ThatDeborahGirl said...

OMG! Thank you for posting this. This was driving me mad!

StephJay said...

Thank you! I spent the entire morning trying to figure this out. This is the only post on the whole internet with a solution.

RegS said...

I like your solution but it is now January 2012 and a problem we faced in Word for Mac 2008, and which exists also in Word for Mac 2011 is still awaiting a proper fix. C'mon Microsoft. Lets get a wriggle on and fix this frustrating problem!

Kit_12 said...

In Word for Mac 2011, entire chunks of text disappear in a table cell if anyone makes so much as a comment in track changes. You can see the text in draft view but not print view. Nothing makes it come back--not accepting all changes, pasting the text into a new row. I have to look at table text every day and this is making me crazy. Do you have any solutions?

slogan1 said...

BACKGROUND:
I had the same problem. i would download the template form from my school. they had already created tables and i was to fill them in. the problem was, they had specified a height and width for columns. so there was a finite number or words one could type.


FIX:
1. find the upper most left hand corner of your text box.
2. a small box with arrows pointing in all directions will apear.
3. right click the small box. options will appear as a drop down menu
4. choose table properties
5.under table, uncheck preferred width
6. under row, make sure a check is in the box next to specify height (mine is set at 0.01") and make sure "row height is: at least"
7. under column, there is a check mark next to preferred width (mine is 1.76")
8 under cell, make sure a check is in the box next to preferred width (mine is set at 1.76")

sarita said...

Thanks for all the postings!

I fixed this irritating problem by selecting the table and in table properties > cell I justified the text so it was at the top rather than centr.

This seemed to fix it for me...

JRu said...

I have the same problem as Benjamin... does anyone have a solution to that? Word is mysteriously making the all the lines except the last line of my cell bold. In the Font options, I do NOT have the text bold. I have also cleared all formatting and that still does not resolve the problem -- Please HELP!!

Tomas Weber said...

I have been banging my head against this one as well and I think I've just found a solution that seems to work for me.

Open the table properties and select the "table" tab.
Under "Text wrapping" the option "None" was selected. Changed it to "Around" and the text rows that was previously missing re-appeared.

Mark O'Brien said...

It's tempting to blame Word here, but this is actually a MAC problem. Nearly all programs that involve any sort of text on any Mac has this problem. For instance, it happens in various mathematical programs I use such as MAPLE and GAP.

dakar said...

This is a note for Kit_12's issue about commenting in tables. There is a known bug in Word for tables that extend outside of the margins: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/275998

So the only fix for *that* problem is to adjust your table margins. (I am having the same problem as the original poster.

Shell said...

Ok, so I'm using Word for Mac 2011, but by the sounds of it it doesn't matter what version (or pc vs mac).
The issues I had with text disappearing in Word tables were:
A) all text in a single-celled table disappears.
B) in the last row of a multi-row table, when there are 2 or more lines of text within a cell, the upper line/s disappear.

What I've concluded is that there are two options (credit to Tomas and anyone else I've forgotten, I'm just summarising):
For issue (A): go to Table Properties - Table - Text wrapping: select "Around" (instead of None)... this may mess slightly with nearby text outside of the table, but that's easily fixed (for my situation, I just hit Enter a few times!).
For issue (B): click in the problem cell, change cell alignment to Top (instead of center or bottom).

Hope this helps !

unomarcus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mapache said...

"Open the table properties and select the "table" tab.
Under "Text wrapping" the option "None" was selected. Changed it to "Around" and the text rows that was previously missing re-appeared."

That solution solved it in my case.

Turakira Reagan said...

Re-do your work but this time avoid copying rows/columns. Copy only content in the boxes.

Turakira Reagan said...

Re-do your work but this time avoid copying rows/columns.
Just copy the content in the boxes.

Arturs Aboltins said...

Cell Alignment to Top worked perfectly! Thanks

Jack B said...

Here in June 2014 we still have the issue of the last row in tables having hidden text when Track Changes are used, even rows with no changes. Accept all the changes and the text appears.

Many thanks for the suggestion to work around the problem by adding a blank row after the last row on each page. Not pretty but it works!

Jessica Chislett said...

SO glad I found this post! I've been struggling with this for so long and finally got it fixed thanks to the discussions in this thread.

Adriana Moyano said...

The solution is to select your table, go to "Table" in the menu bar, and uncheck the "Gridlines" option. I've had this problem so many times and no solution worked, until I tried this one. Hopefully this helps other frustrated users!

Matt said...

I changed the view from Print Layout to Draft - that worked for me.

Kate Brooks said...

Thank you Adriana, yoursolution worked!! So relieved, we have wasted about an hour on finding where our invisble text had gone!!! For anyone else here is Adrianas solution - go to "Table" in the menu bar, and uncheck the "Gridlines" option. Thank the lord!!!!

Derrick said...

I have this problem with the bolding. The only thing that worked for me was unchecking the gridline

Kate said...

Oh thank GOD for this thread! It's 2017 and I'm having the same problem with Word for Mac 2008 and a table. I have been trying to fix for at least 30 minutes. Even deleting table or rows and starting over wasn't working. Table properties > table tab > Text wrapping changed to "Around" worked for me. The missing text rows are back! Thank you all!