Essential to formatting many documents, columns help break up the layout of a page full of text. You can set columns just about any way you like with the ability to specify the number, size, and borders. The following articles explain how to do that and more with columns in a Word document.
Tips, Tricks, and Answers
The following articles are available for the 'Columns' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.
Adding Columns to Your Page Layout
Most documents are created using a single column of text. Word, however, allows you to use many, many columns in your document layout. Here's how to specify how many columns should be used.
Adding Vertical Lines between Columns
Columns can be an integral part of your document layout. In some instances you may want Word to insert a vertical line between your columns. Here's how to instruct Word to insert the line.
Changing the Number of Columns
If you need to change the number of columns used in a portion of your document, it's easy to do when you use the Columns dialog box. This tip examines the steps you need to follow to get just the number of columns you want.
Changing the Number of Columns in the Middle of a Document
Need to have multiple columns in a page layout that normally consists of a single column? You can change the column layout by applying the techniques in this tip.
Determining a Column Width
When laying out your document, you may wonder what width you should use for your text. An old typographers’ trick may help to provide the answer.
Disappearing Column Formatting
Two things go into making your documents look just right: content and formatting. If the formatting seems to disappear on its own, that can be frustrating. This tip examines some potential reasons why this may happen.
Displaying a Column Number
Word allows you to format your document to use columns. If you want to number those columns for a printout, Word provides no built-in solution. This tip, however, provides a workaround for Word's native inability to print the numbers.
Jumping between Columns
Need to jump from one column to another on a page? You can use the handy shortcut keys described in this tip.
Making Columns the Same Length
Balancing the length of each column in a multi-column page layout can be a challenge. Here's a quick way to get Word to do the heavy lifting and balance the depth of each of your columns.
Mixing Column Formats On a Page
Want to switch the number of columns used for your text, in the middle of a page? You can do this very easily by following the steps in this tip.
Quickly Changing Columns
You can use the Columns tool, available on the Page Layout or Layout tab (depending on which version of Word you are using) of the ribbon, as a way to easily change the number of columns used in your document. Here's how the tool works.
Setting Up Multi-page Columns
Do you need a page layout that features columns that progress vertically across pages instead of horizontally across a page? If so, then columns may not be the best approach to use. Try a table, instead!
Using a Single-Column Heading in a Multi-Column Layout
Want different numbers of columns all on the same page? Word makes it easy to use, for instance, a heading that uses a single column even though the majority of the page is more than one column. Here's how to accomplish the design.
Using Parallel Columns
Users of WordPerfect know what parallel columns are. There is no such capability in Word, but there are ways you can achieve the same end results.
Vertical Lines in Word
Lines can help to organize the data on a page or make certain points clearer. Word provides several different ways you can add vertical lines to your page layout.