MS-Word Mac Table issus

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A client has sent me data in the Windows version of MS Excel.  I copied the data, and when I paste it into MS Word for Mac, it becomes a table.  So far, so good.
 
The MS-Word for Mac table thus created is giving me fits!  Nothing I apply in "table properties" will stick.  For example, I have table cells with half-a-page of white space below the text.  I've gone into each column, and there are no excess line feeds in any of the cells.  I've also tried table properties where I tell Word not to specify any row height.
 
As soon as I apply the "no row height" option in "table properties," the rows initially discard all the white space.  But within a second or two, the white space reappears.  When I look at table properties again, the "specify row height" box is semi-checked (telling me that at least some cells have auto-magically reapplied a minimum height setting)!
 
I've also looked in "format paragraph" settings to ensure that no pre or post-text spacing is applied.  I set all such paragraph settings to zero, but nothing changes in my document.  But the next time I open the "format paragraph" box, all of my manual paragraph entries are gone and all the paragraph formatting entry cells have defaulted to blank.
 
Any ideas?  Thanks!
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