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In Microsoft Access, when you open a Table (in Datasheet View) from the list of Tables, the column order and column sizes can be changed.  This is called the “Table Layout”.

If you change the Table Layout in this way and then close the Table, you will see the following message:

   “Do you want to save changes to the layout of table: ‘tablename’

If you click “Yes” to save the Layout, the Table will look the same next time you open the table.  However, there are occaissions when you want the Table Layout to revert to the original layout. 

As an Access Developer, I’m often working with tables at this level and I sometimes need to do this.  One example is if I want to copy and paste data from one Access database to another, using the Datasheet View, where the column orders are different in the two database files.

Solution to Reset the Column Layout

As far as I can tell, there is no obvious button or command to “reset” a Table to it’s original layout, i.e. to put the columns back to their original width and order.

However, this will reset the column order (but not the column widths – but see below)

  1. Open the Table in the regular Datasheet View
  2. Sort any of the Table columns, by clicking the little down arrow next to one of the column names.
  3. Close the table, and click “Yes” to save the layout.
  4. Open the table in “Design View”
  5. Open the Table’s “Property Sheet”
  6. Delete the sort order text in the “Order By” property.
  7. Close the table, and click “Yes” to save the layout.

When you open the table again, the column order will be reset and thus will match the same order of that shown in the Table Design View.

Solution to Reset the Column Widths?

  1. Open the Table in the regular Datasheet View
  2. Click the little sqaure in the top left of the Table
  3. Move your mouse to the right edge of the last column, in the column heading row, and when the double-headed arrow cursor appears, double-click the mouse left button.

The column sizes will all be reset to match the widest entry in the current screenful, which may be the column name width or the width of data in the column.