We're currently migrating from Ask to Discourse, read the details here

Ask Your Question

How can I move tables in Writer? [closed]

asked 2012-02-20 22:35:42 +0200

anonymous user


updated 2020-07-12 23:29:49 +0200

Alex Kemp gravatar image


I am running LibreOffice Writer 3.5 on Mac OS X 10.6.8.

The problem I am having is that once I create a table in the document, I don't know how to move it!

I tried selecting the whole table (you know, by moving my mouse cursor to the top left corner of the table so it turns into a diagonal arrow), then cutting it. But nothing happens. Dragging the table after selecting doesn't help either.

This is becoming very frustrating, can any one educate me on how to move tables in a Writer .odt document?


edit retag flag offensive reopen merge delete

Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp
close date 2020-07-12 23:30:22.870340


One really needs the option to move tables where ever one needs to on a page. I'm sure the team at Scribus can show you the code needed to accomplish this. :)

Office programs are blurring the line between DTP and simple word processing documents. These options are becoming a necessity for all objects on the page.

AdmFubar gravatar imageAdmFubar ( 2018-02-24 20:35:12 +0200 )edit

@AdmFubar: Scribus is page-oriented while LO Writer is content-oriented (flow-oriented). This makes a big difference. In Scribus you position areas within the page and you fill these areas afterwards with text. In Writer, content will progressively fill the page then allocate a new one. But for frames, you don't define areas in the page. Even frames are not routinely anchored to page (not recommended unless you are fully aware of the consequences) but to paragraphs and flow with the paragraph.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-08-12 15:17:51 +0200 )edit

9 Answers

Sort by » oldest newest most voted

answered 2012-04-06 15:30:46 +0200

manj_k gravatar image

updated 2013-12-12 21:39:32 +0200

1) My workaround

Add an empty paragraph before the table > select both > Ctrl+X > Ctrl+V.

2) Documentation

Writer Guide, Published 16 February 2012. Based on LibreOffice 3.4.5.

Chapter 9: Working with Tables

Moving a table (page 24)

To move a table from one part of a document to another part:

1) Click anywhere in the table.

2) From the main menu, choose Table > Select > Table.

3) Press Ctrl+X or click the Cut icon in the Standard toolbar. (This step removes the contents of the cells but leaves the empty cells, which must be removed in step 6.)

4) Move the cursor to the target position and click on it to fix the insertion point.

5) Press Ctrl+V or click the Paste icon in the Standard toolbar. (This pastes the cells and their contents and formatting.)

6) Return to the original table, click somewhere in it and then choose Table > Delete > Table from the main menu.

3) Bug ReportBug 40893 - Drag and drop complete TABLE (contents) leaves empty table behind

Status: RESOLVED NOTABUG REOPENED (see @Pedro's comment below)

("...feel free to submit an enhancement request if you can provide a conclusive concept...")

edit flag offensive delete link more


@manj_k Thanks for your answer!! But I think the Documentation's method for "moving" a table is so cumbersome, and does not allow drag and drop, should count as a big bug, not an "enhancement" request!

avamk gravatar imageavamk ( 2012-04-06 17:40:43 +0200 )edit

It is not a BIG bug but it is inconsistent with what you expect from other word processors AND it is inconsistent with MOVING other objects within LibreOffice. I have REOPENED the Bug.

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2012-04-06 18:54:43 +0200 )edit

In my opinion, it would be better to treat this problem as a request for enhancement. Related sample 'Please treat tables as object' → https://issues.apache.org/ooo/show_bug.cgi?id=30782 [Reported: 2004-06-27 · OOo 1.1.1 ] ;)

manj_k gravatar imagemanj_k ( 2012-04-06 21:16:56 +0200 )edit

I realize this is a really old post, but I was wondering if there was any new developments with moving tables. Moving a table by clicking and dragging still has the same bug as described above. Cut and Paste method isn't great as you can't have tables side by side. The frame method described below works, but slows the software down when there are too many frames in the document.

Any other workarounds?

timbojimbo gravatar imagetimbojimbo ( 2016-11-16 02:22:07 +0200 )edit

answered 2012-02-21 12:32:29 +0200

Pedro gravatar image

There are several bugs in the move table code (at least under Windows and apparently on a Mac too). When you select a table (the easiest way to select a whole table is to click on any cell and then use the menu Table, Select, Table) the cursor should change to the Move cursor. It doesn't. You still get the Edit cursor but you can use it to click and drag the table somewhere else. The Table with contents will be moved but a copy of the Table borders will remain in the original position (which doesn't make any sense since you wanted to MOVE the table...) So your only option is to delete the Table borders that were left on the original position.

edit flag offensive delete link more


@Pedro Wow this is a pretty big bug!! Can you tell me how to get the Edit cursor? I can't find it. Thanks!

avamk gravatar imageavamk ( 2012-02-21 20:41:06 +0200 )edit

@avamk The Edit cursor is the large I with a top and bottom bar. I think it's the only cursor available :)

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2012-02-22 18:59:38 +0200 )edit

@Pedro is this has been reported as a bug could you post the corresponding URL ?

MagicFab gravatar imageMagicFab ( 2012-03-04 20:19:36 +0200 )edit

@MagicFab I think it has but I really can't find it at bugzilla. Sorry!

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2012-03-05 00:41:01 +0200 )edit

answered 2013-01-19 16:39:18 +0200

Pedro gravatar image

A more elegant way to move a table freely around a page is to create a Frame (Insert, Frame) and then click inside (you may need to click outside in a writable area and then click inside) to Insert a Table.

The Frame is now moveable by changing the Anchor options.

edit flag offensive delete link more


Ho thanks bro....this is it yar... i mean it's not only about moving a table around, if you want to type beside a table also no other option works....great

Agin gravatar imageAgin ( 2013-10-08 20:47:25 +0200 )edit

frame movement is great but there are frame wrap issues

keng gravatar imagekeng ( 2015-08-17 19:14:31 +0200 )edit

Unfortunately, I've had problems with this method as well. If you have a whole bunch of frames in a single document, the software slows to a crawl. It becomes extremely aggravating to work with. I have a pretty beastly computer, too, so my hardware isn't the issue.

timbojimbo gravatar imagetimbojimbo ( 2016-11-16 02:19:08 +0200 )edit

answered 2013-01-19 03:45:45 +0200

Garth gravatar image

I just ran across this tonight migrating an important file from Word to Writer.

No useful way to do simple table moves and and easily adjust text flows.

In my opinion this is a major Writer deficiency. I really do not give a damn about the niceties of Bugs vs Enhancements.

I am in the process of migrating from MS Office to Libre Office. I have managed to do do that for Excel (Calc is pretty good - took a bit of work, but I am there).

My attempts to move from MS Word to Writer have been frustrating to useless. So I keep using Word. Handling of table and graphic management, is so lame, that it makes Writer almost useless to me. In Word I could grab a Table, position it where I wanted it, and then easily manage the text flow around it. Have not found a way to do that with Writer.


edit flag offensive delete link more

answered 2018-01-29 01:55:47 +0200

inJesus gravatar image

A little addition for whoever needs it: If the table is at the beginning of an odt, and you need to move it down, you need to make an empty paragraph before it. Go to the top of the table and click alt return. Blessings, Klaus

edit flag offensive delete link more

answered 2013-12-12 11:34:05 +0200

Googly Googly gravatar image

go to the beginning of the first cell. press alt+enter. the table will be shifted to the next page. right click inside the table. go to Table>Text Flow>Text Flow. Uncheck Break. and done. Or just play around with that Break. The radio button of Page should be unchecked.

edit flag offensive delete link more


There is no Table->"Text Flow" in v4.2.4.

RonJohn gravatar imageRonJohn ( 2014-06-15 12:44:52 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-08-12 15:00:42 +0200

KitchM gravatar image

I totally agree that this is inexcusable programming.

The statement above, “It is not a BIG bug but it is inconsistent with what you expect from other word processors AND it is inconsistent with MOVING other objects within LibreOffice” sums up the problem and clearly displays the ignorant attempt to justify poor programming when trying to reinvent the wheel. There is no excuse for not following the many examples of other good methodologies.

I have been able to do these things in simple fashion in word processing since the 1980’s. This attitude is one of the reasons for the poor acceptance of Linux across the board. When there are not good basic programs such as word processors, we can surely understand the source of the brokenness of the system.

We need to stop making excuses and start agreeing on the facts of the matter, and only then can we all move forward in fixing the problems.

edit flag offensive delete link more


"Inexcusable"? Oh you are the one who may grant or deny excuses from those who granted their labor to you for free? Anything you write, be it sensible or not, is invalidated by the attitude you show in the word - so I wouldn't recommend anyone waste time reading this "answer".

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2019-08-12 15:18:03 +0200 )edit

Here’s what I have to say to all those programmers who share such illogical ideas:

"I’d be glad to pay, if it were something worth paying for. Right now it is just installed on distros as a stop-gap measure until something worthwhile comes alone.

"Now I realize that you are just programming to serve yourself, but you fail to realize that you are also promoting the worldwide use of your program. Therefore, you need to change your focus when you involve others.

"Just get off your high horse and do your job. People here have great ideas and they should be implemented immediately. You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. If you wish to be part of the solution, then pay attention to those with the good ideas. And it wouldn’t hurt at all to copy the good ideas of ...(more)

KitchM gravatar imageKitchM ( 2019-08-12 15:55:52 +0200 )edit

answered 2012-08-01 23:20:31 +0200

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >75 is welcome to improve it.

Just as big a pain in the ass in Linux version - c'mon guys this is supposed to be EASIER to use than M Word, not HARDER!

edit flag offensive delete link more

answered 2015-03-16 00:10:21 +0200

hmazuji gravatar image

i'm having the exact same problem. it doesn't matter if you call it an enhancement or a bug, one is a euphemism, and the other a dysphemism. the bottom line is that i can't use libre write because moving a table to where it belongs is such a basic task, that if it doesn't work, it's broken. sure you could put in the x and y coordinates of the table under manual format, but really ? i bought a $2500 bicycle, but without the $10 chain, it's worthless. yes it will roll downhill, and it looks really good, but it's useless as a mode of transportation. please let me know when this problem is fixed so i can patch my libre office.

edit flag offensive delete link more


Bug reports and enhancement requests are off-topic for this site.

Jim K gravatar imageJim K ( 2018-03-15 19:03:28 +0200 )edit

Question Tools



Asked: 2012-02-20 22:35:42 +0200

Seen: 45,269 times

Last updated: Aug 12 '19