While working on an existing document (a simple three-column Word table), the document has stuck on the "Table Layout" tab. When I try to open another tab eg Home, or Document Elements, the toolbar sort of bounces up and down and stays stuck on "table layout". I've tried closing down Word and re-opening it. No luck. I tried shutting down my computer and restarting it. No luck. Any other ideas?


3 Answers 3


There is an old trick I learned on a help desk well over 10 years ago which USUALLY still works.

In the problematic document, turn on paragraph marks. It's in the ribbon under "Paragraph." or Press COMMAND-* (Mac) or CTRL-* (PC) [EG SHIFT COMMAND/CTRL 8].

Select All in the document. Use the edit menu or click in the document and COMMAND-A (Mac) or CTRL-A (PC).

Scroll to the bottom of the document and locate the very LAST paragraph mark at the very end of the document.

Press the shift key and click just to the LEFT of the last paragraph mark, thus de-selecting it.

Now everything in the document is selected EXCEPT the last paragraph mark.

Release the shift key, and tap COMMAND-C (Mac) or CTRL-C (PC). Create a new empty Word Document.

Click in the document and paste what you just copied from the old, problematic, document into the new one. Save the new document under a different name and see if your formatting/behavior issues have gone away.

When I learned that trick I was told that MS Word stores document formatting in the last paragraph marker. Regardless of whether that is true or not it will often fix problematic MS Word documents.


The answer has been found here:

Ribbon tabs in Office/Word/Excel 2011 stop working

While the majority of the tab isn't clickable, the very top edge of the tab is. So just click on its top border.

It is slightly inconvenient, but better than risking the destruction of your installation. I've posted the remark on the Microsoft community forum. Hopefully they'll fix this issue.


Try trashing the Word preferences file at ~/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Word.plist. (You should probably also get rid of the ~/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.Word.plist.lockfile at the same time.)

  • Tnx for your reply. Tried what you said but it hasn't made any difference. It's still stuck on the table layout tab.
    – Tali
    Apr 17, 2012 at 8:08

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