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 March 14, 2015)

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

Faster Picture Displaying

If you have a document with many graphics, you know that Word can sometimes be slow in displaying all those graphics. This ...

Discover More

Automatic Lines for Dividing Lists

When preparing a report for others to use, it is not unusual to add a horizontal line between major sections of the report. ...

Discover More

Quickly Selecting Cells

Need to quickly select a range of cells? Perhaps the easiest way is to use both the mouse and the keyboard together, as ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

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 ...

Discover More

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 ...

Discover More

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 ...

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. 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 six more than 8?

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.