This article was previously published under Q253600
When you attempt to add columns to a table, you receive the following error message:
This exceeds the maximum width.
This problem can occur when one of the following is true:
The table is formatted to autofit its contents, and there is a large amount of text in the table cells.
The table columns are set to a large column width.
NOTE: Either of these problems can result in the width of the table exceeding the maximum page width in Microsoft Word of 22 inches.
To work around this problem, use one of the following methods appropriate for your situation.
Method 1: Use the AutoFit Feature
Use this method if your table columns are set to a large preferred width, and change the table to autofit its contents. To do this, follow these steps:
Click inside the table.
On the Table menu, point to Select, and then click Table.
On the Table menu, point to AutoFit, and then click AutoFit to Window.
The table is resized, and you can continue inserting columns up to a maximum of 63. If you attempt to insert more than 63 columns in your Word table, the following message appears:
This exceeds the maximum number of columns.
For additional information about the operating limitations in Microsoft Word, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
211489 WD2000: Operating Parameter Limitations and Specifications
Method 2: Change the Preferred Width of Your Table Columns
Use this method if your table columns are set to a large preferred width, or if you have a large amount of text in your table columns. Change the width of your table columns to a smaller width. To do this, follow these steps:
Click inside the first table cell of your Word table.
On the Table menu, point to Select and click Column. The first table column should be selected.
On the Table menu, click Table Properties.
On the Column tab, change the Preferred width of the column appropriately, and then click Next Column.
Repeat step 4 for each column of your Word table until the table fits correctly within the margins of your Word page.
NOTE: You may need to repeat this method if you add additional columns to your Word table.
The AutoFit options and table properties available in Word 2000 can result in columns that automatically resize to fit their contents. The width of the columns varies, based on their contents, and may cause the table to reach the 22-inch width limit.
You may also encounter this error when you edit a mail merge data source and you use Manage Fields to add fields. When you create a mail merge data source in Word, the data is stored in a table.