Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Creating a Split Page.

Creating a Split Page

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 19, 2020)

6

WordPerfect has a feature that allows you to create a "split page," meaning that you can create different "zones" on a page and place them side-by-side. This feature was great for creating information that must be laid out side-by-side, such as student material and teacher commentary on that material.

Those coming to Word from a WordPerfect environment may wonder how you can create a split page layout in Word. The best way is through the use of tables in Word. Even for very long documents you can use tables to create side-by-side information. Follow these general steps:

  1. Open a new document and set the paper orientation and margins the way you want.
  2. Insert a three-column, single-row table in your document.
  3. Remove the borders around the table, if desired.
  4. Format the second (center) column to be rather narrow. This column will serve as the margin between the left and right columns.
  5. Adjust the width of the other columns as desired.
  6. Make sure the cells are formatted so that their contents can break across pages.
  7. In the left column, enter your student information; in the right column enter the related teacher commentary.
  8. Whenever you need to "align" or "synchronize" the contents in the columns, start a new row.

Using this technique, you can create documents of virtually any length you desire. The only thing you should be careful of is that you start a new row periodically. Word has been known to go "flaky" when creating tables that have a single row extending for pages and pages.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9409) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Creating a Split 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. ...

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Comments

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What is 4 + 0?

2020-09-04 08:58:54

Paul Stregevsky

Sabina Saldanha,
The procedure that you describe will create two columns, but the text will fill up the first column, then will flow into the second column.
With Alan's procedure--using an invisible two-column table--you can enter text into each column independently. When text fills the first column, it flows into the first column of the next page.

maria longoria,
It sounds as though your rows are set to a fixed height, are set to prevent breaking across pages, or both. To correct these settings:
1. Select the entire table, or select one row at a time.
2. right-click, then select Table Properties.
3. Select the Row tab.
4. Make sure that "Specify height" is cleared.
5. Make sure that "Allow row to break across pages" is selected.
6. Select OK.


2020-09-02 06:39:46

Pete Ward

Thank you sooooo much! As a writer occasionally wishing to script concurrent scenes on each half of the page - this has driven me crazy for ages, using just Columns - which also made a nightmare of the Page Numbers! Your easy-to-follow Tables solution has made my day!!


2019-01-30 19:22:15

fsadfas

Extremely hard to understand.


2017-03-02 12:48:10

olan

Thanks alot for this simple trick.....I nearly eat my brain


2016-06-13 17:37:28

maria longoria

I just sent you a question regarding this same subject (I think). My issue was that I had too much text in cells, and text would disappear once it hit the bottom of page--and would not continue on the following page. Is this what these steps would cure? I would need the columns' width NOT to change, since I want all to be the same width. what steps would I need to take so that text runs to top of next page? THANK YOU!!


2015-09-02 05:50:14

Sabina Saldanha

I found this tip regarding the same issue that seems to be a better option.
Word 2007 or 2010
1. Open a Word document that you want to format into columns.
2. Click the 'Page Layout' tab. Click 'Columns' in the 'Page Setup' group.
3. Select 'Two.'
4. Click 'Columns' again, then 'More Columns' to customize the columns further. In the 'Columns' dialog box, click the 'Line between' box to place a vertical line between the two columns. Use the width and spacing boxes to adjust the column width and white space between them. Click 'OK.'
5. Click the 'Microsoft Office Button' or 'File' tab. Click 'Save' to save your document.
Word 2003
6. Open a Word document that you want to format into columns.
7. Select the text you want to split into two columns. Click the 'Edit' menu, then 'Select All' to format the entire document.
8. Click the 'Columns' icon on the 'Standard' toolbar. Drag your cursor to select two columns.
9. Click the 'File' menu, then 'Save' to save your document.


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