Set variable row height – Documentation

Set Variable Row Height tool icon Set Variable Row Height tool ensures that text is fully visible in table rows. It is especially useful in tables created by OCR and PDF conversion tools where text may be partially invisible after expansion.

Detailed information about Set Variable Row Height tool

How Set Variable Row Height tool can help you in your work

If you have you ever used SDL Trados 2007 (Word add-in) or Wordfast Classic on fixed-height tables (e.g. produced by word recognition tools like Omnipage or ABBYY Finereader, reports generated with special software, or plain documents produced by a person), you may recognize this picture:

Screenshot: Fixed-height row - before opening a segmentScreenshot: Fixed-height row - after opening a segment
Original Segmented

Explanation is simple. When OCR programs (like Finereader, Omnipage, etc.) convert a PDF to Word format, they try to match the document layout as close as possible, and the side effect is that table rows have fixed or minimum height. Fixed-height rows never change their height regardless of the amount of text inside the row cells, and minimum-height rows will not shrink if the text length after translation becomes smaller. This causes invisible text or large areas of whitespace in translated documents.


With this tool, you can remove the fixed or minimum height setting from selected table rows (single or multiple) or the entire selected table. The row(s) will be automatically resized to show both source and target segments.

Screenshot: Fixed-height setting removed
After running Set Variable Row Height tool

Where to find the tool

To run Set Variable Row Height tool, click Set Variable Row Height item located in TransTools menu within TransTools ribbon in Word:

Set Variable Row Height menu item

Using Set Variable Row Height tool

  • If you have opened a segment and the target segment is not fully visible, run the tool. See Notes for more info.
  • If you would like to process the entire table or several rows, select the table or rows and run the tool.


  1. To find out how to achieve the same with built-in Word commands, click here.
  2. If a cell contains a lot of text, the row may not fit within the page. Microsoft Word provides a row setting called 'Allow row to break across pages', which may be off, especially if the document was produced with word recognition software (ABBYY Finereader , Omnipage, etc). As a result, it is possible that you will not be able to see the entire opened segment or all translatable cell text because the row will not fit on a single page (due to the row height increasing during translation). Show solution.