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: Changing the Number of Columns in the Middle of a Document.

Changing the Number of Columns in the Middle of a Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 27, 2015)

2

For some document layouts, columns can be used to present your information clearly and concisely. What if you already have a document and you want to format only part of it in columns? As an example, 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. To accomplish this formatting challenge, you can follow these steps:

  1. Place the insertion point at the beginning of the text that will appear in the columns.
  2. Display the Page Layout tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click on the Breaks tool. Word displays a list of break types.
  4. Click on Continuous. Word inserts a continuous section break in your document.
  5. Place the insertion point at the end of the text that will appear in the columns.
  6. Repeat steps 2 through 4 to insert another continuous section break.
  7. Place the insertion point anywhere within the text that will appear in the columns.
  8. Click the Columns tool in the Page Setup group. Word displays a number of column options.
  9. Choose the option that indicates how many columns you desire.

That's it; the section between the two section breaks is formatted to use the number of columns you specified.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9480) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing the Number of Columns in the Middle of a Document.

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

Automatic Font Color Won't Print Properly

Imagine that you go to print your document, and all the text you can see on the screen just isn't there on the ...

Discover More

Errors when Copying References to External Cells

If you copy a cell that contains a reference to external data, do you get an error? It could be due to the complexity of the ...

Discover More

Generating Random Testing Data

Need to test your formulas? Then you need some testing data that you can use to see if the formulas function as you expect. ...

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)

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

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 ...

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
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 9 + 4?

2015-07-15 00:25:59

Prasad

Sir,

I thank you for your help.

Prasad.


2015-01-18 11:52:08

Damear

An easier way is to select the text you want to modify and apply the new column formatting - the section breaks are inserted automatically.


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.