Cannot align a floating table to the bottom of the first page

New Contributor

I can't figure out how to position a Word-native floating table, aligned vertically to the bottom of the first page.

 

To reproduce my issue, create a new Word document, insert a new table (2-3 rows). Now, change the table properties, set "Text Wrapping" to around, then set the vertical table position to "Bottom" of "Page".

 

In my case, this creates a second page and moves the table to the bottom of this second page. I can easily create more pages in the document and move my table to any of these pages. But no matter what I do, I can't move it to the first page as long as the vertical alignment of the table is set to page bottom. If I set it to margin bottom or change the text wrapping, it's not a problem.

 

Why does Word behave like this? Is this a bug or is there some specific limitation on floating tables?

7 Replies

@vik-t 

 

When you insert the table, make sure that the insertion point is in the very first paragraph on the page (this ensures that the first paragraph is the anchor point for the table). Drag the table into the desired position. To fine-tune the position, open the Table Properties dialog box and click the Positioning button. Specify the vertical position to "Bottom" relative to "Margin." Click OK. See attached screen shot.

@Stefan_Blom I specifically wanted the table to be at the bottom of the page, not at the bottom of the margin. As mentioned, I can't figure out how to have it at the bottom of the first page. It's not a problem to have it at the bottom of the second or third or any subsequent page.

@vik-t 

 

Putting the table at the very bottom of the page will be more difficult, because most printers define a nonprinting area around the page edges. Maybe you could put the table in the footer? You can start a new section and put the table in the first page footer of the new section.

@Stefan_Blom

I appreciate that you're trying to provide a workaround to my issue but it's really not an answer to my question. I've shown that it's easily possible to put a table at the bottom of a page, you can just follow my very short instructions to verify this for yourself. But it does not seem possible to put it at the bottom of the first page for some random reason.

So, unless someone can provide a solution or at least a good explanation, it would look like I discovered a bug in MS Word. Is there some way to have this officially confirmed?
Hi vic666,
Yes, strange behavior indeed. I think I have an explanation: it looks as if Word put the first ROW at the bottom of that first page, not the whole table.
A workaround can be to put the table inside a textbox - textbox that can be positioned below but has to be redimensioned in function of the table dimensions.
There are MS people monitoring this forum. I'm sure the mention will be picked up.
Kind regards
Hans

@vik-t 

 

Apparently I misunderstood your initial post. You are saying that you have observed the problem on the first page only? Here, I'm seeing the same "broken" table even if I try it on some other page of a (test) document.

 

What you can do instead is put the table inside a text box and position the text box on the bottom of the page. Remove borders from the text box. 

 

In the Layout dialog box, set the Vertical alignment to "Bottom" relative to "Page." 

 

Also, you need to set the text box to resize according to its content.

@Hans Le Roy, @Stefan_Blom,

Thank you both your inputs.

First of all, Stefan, you're right, a multi row table is breaking not just on the first page but on any page. It seems there is no setting you can make to avoid this.

I made an assumption when creating the post which turned out not to be true: It actually does make a difference whether the table consists of just one or more rows.

Frankly, I just wanted to keep things simple which is why I described my issue as I did. In fact, it's a bit different but still easy enough to reproduce quickly.

Create a new document with an inline table. Make sure the table fills at least half of the first page. (I created a document from scratch with a table of 6 rows, 3cm height each). Now, introduce another table, single row, set text wrapping to "Around" and position it to the bottom of the page.

Even though there is more than enough space left on the first page, the floating table will be positioned at the bottom of the second page, not the first. I don't see any valid explanation for this.

By the way, your workarounds are well understood. Unfortunately, in my specific case, I can't use them. My word document is being automatically filled by another software (proprietary, not under my control). Unfortunately, the Word automation mechanisms used in this software are flawed, which is why it's not able to fill in text in ranges outside of the main document, such as text boxes, headers and footers.