Agenda design: Troubleshooting “heading rows repeat” in long agenda tables

OK, this is an unusual post for me, as it concerns a dorky little technical formatting problem that’s been ticking me off – and I’ve finally solved it. As a facilitator, I’m constantly working with fairly lengthy tables in Word. And sometimes they get all pissy on me and refuse to do what I want. Ugh! This happened just now: I’m preparing a detailed facilitator’s agenda for an upcoming training, in table format. It’s both for my eyes, and those of my client. I need the heading row to repeat on each of the 14 pages of this table, as it sets out the minutes needed for each agenda item, the time, the detailed activities and any visual tools (flipcharts, handouts, videos etc.) needed, so it’s really helpful to have it show at the top of each page. I’m working with Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, and of course had already selected the first header row, then chose “Table”, “Heading Row Repeat”. But suddenly, “Heading Rows Repeat” stopped working.  I hadn’t added any manual page breaks.  So, fellow facilitators, if you’re having trouble getting “heading rows repeat” to work in Word, here’s the solution:

Go to “Tables” in the menu bar; select “Table Properties”; click the “Table” tab; then make sure that the “Text Wrap” option near the bottom of the dialogue box is selected to “None”.

That’s it! Simple solution to a minor annoyance that’s plagued me for a couple of years. If that doesn’t work, then either you’re looking at the wrong view (repeated heading rows only show in Page Layout view) or your table may be corrupted (can’t help you with that).  Happy agenda-crafting!

This is the kind of agenda where Heading Rows Repeat is really helpful

Author: Suzanne Hawkes

I'm an organizational effectiveness consultant, facilitator and leadership trainer based out of Vancouver, Canada, and working across Canada and the USA

23 thoughts on “Agenda design: Troubleshooting “heading rows repeat” in long agenda tables”

  1. This works!!!! I’m so grateful to you for discovering the fix and posting!!!!
    thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I’m having the same problem. Even though I made sure that the “wrap text” is clicked “none,” and even though I selected the row before clicking on “header row.”

    This is exasperating and I have a deadline this afternoon.

    Anybody know if this is a major bug in Word Mac 2011 and whether there’s a replacement or fix for it?

  3. I found this really helpful. So helpful that I turned the agenda template (with Suzanne’s OK) into a google document for folks to share. The Facilitator’s Agenda Template is at — just click ‘File’ then ‘Save a copy’ to get your own (editable) version. Commenting is enabled, so please give feedback if you have it. Yay, internet!

  4. Suzanne, thank you so much. Such an obscure thing. I don’t think I would ever have got this solved, but did (after just 20 minutes of perplexity, followed by a Google search), thanks to your post here.

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