Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Mixing Column Formats On a Page.

Mixing Column Formats On a Page

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 24, 2019)

It is not uncommon to have a document that mixes different column layouts on a single page. For instance, let's assume you have a five-page document, and you want to format the center part of page two as three columns. You want the rest of the document to remain a single column. Overcoming this formatting challenge is easy when you use the tools available on the ribbon. Follow these steps:
  1. Select the text that will appear in the columns.
  2. Choose the Page Layout tab of the ribbon.
  3. In the Page Setup group, click the Columns drop-down list.
  4. Pick the number of columns you want to use for the selected text.
That's it; Word does the rest and formats the selected text into the number of columns you specified. It does this by automatically placing continuous section breaks both before and after the text you selected in step 1 and then formatting the text into the number of columns you selected in step 4. While you can do those steps yourself, manually, it is easier to allow Word to do it for you.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (110) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Mixing Column Formats On a Page.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Delimited Text-to-Columns in a Macro

The Text-to-Columns tool is an extremely powerful feature that allows you to divide data in a variety of ways. Excel even ...

Discover More

Formatting the Border of a Legend

When you create a chart, Excel often includes a legend with the chart. You can format several attributes of the legend's ...

Discover More

Creating Scenarios

Excel allows you to create different scenarios for the data in your worksheet. These can be saved and managed using the ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Disappearing Column Formatting

Two things go into making your documents look just right: content and formatting. If the formatting seems to disappear on ...

Discover More

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.

Discover More

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 ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four more than 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.