Make a Table Header Column Manually in MS Word

Microsoft Word allows us to create Header Rows for our tables with a click of the button. This option can be found in the Design tab that is visible once a table is selected.

A header row is sufficient for most tables, but what if you need its column equivalent, namely a Header Column? A good example is when the data in all the columns is of the same type, and you want to highlight this fact with a vertical title on the first column.

Well, there’s no option for that, however that doesn’t mean you can’t manually make one for yourself. Here’s how to go about it.



Tutorial on my YouTube Channel
  1. Insert a Table as you normally would. Add one extra column for the header.
  2. Select the table and go to the Design tab. Select a Table Style if you need to use one.
  3. Enable the Header Row if it’s not already enabled and enter title(s).
    Screenshot showing Header row option
  4. Go to the Layout tab, select all the cells in the first column and click on Merge Cells.
    A screenshot showing Merge Cells option
  5. Resize the now merged column so that it’s almost the same size as the header row.
  6. Distribute evenly the rest of the remaining columns using the Distribute Columns option in the Layout tab.
    A screenshot showing the Distribute Columns option
  7. Put the cursor inside the merged column, then change the text direction to Vertical in the Layout tab. Also align the text to Vertical Center so that the text lies in the middle of the column
    A screenshot showing the Text Direction option in Word.
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  9. Enter your text inside the column and there you have it – a custom-made Header Column.


Kelvin Muriuki is a web content developer that's passionate about keeping the internet a useful place. He is the founder and editor of Journey Bytes, a tech blog and web design agency. Feel free to connect with him regarding the content appearing on this page or on web and content development.

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