Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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 Column Width.

Changing Column Width

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 29, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


1

Once you add columns to your document, you may decide you want to adjust the width of the columns. (I'm talking about document columns here, not about table columns.) Word allows you to quickly adjust the width of individual columns in your document, as well as the space between columns. You can change the width of columns in your document in the following manner:

  1. Position the insertion pointer somewhere within the text that is already formatted for columns.
  2. Display the Layout (Page Layout in earlier versions of Word) tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Columns tool in the Page Setup group. Word displays a drop-down list of options.
  4. Choose More Columns. Word displays the Columns dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Columns dialog box.

  6. Clear the Equal Column Width check box if you don't want your columns to be an equal width. (The Equal Column Width check box is only accessible if you set the Number of Columns control to some value other than 1.)
  7. In the Width and Spacing area of the dialog box, adjust the width and spacing (the space between columns) for each column to reflect your desired page appearance. As you adjust one number, other columns and widths may be adjusted automatically. All these numbers are inter-related.
  8. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9658) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing Column Width.

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

Moving Text Using the Mouse

Many people use the keyboard to do their primary editing tasks. Word doesn't limit you to the keyboard, however. You can ...

Discover More

Turning Off Worksheet Tabs

Look at the bottom of a worksheet and chances are you will see tabs for all the worksheets in the current workbook. Want ...

Discover More

Understanding Style Sets

When you display the Home tab of the ribbon, Word shows a variety of styles in the Styles group. These are Style Sets, as ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Distributing Columns Evenly

When you want the horizontal space in a table to be divided evenly among the columns in the table, you'll love this tip. ...

Discover More

Transposing Table Contents

When you transpose information, it is essentially "rotated" in a direction. If you transpose the information in a table, ...

Discover More

Putting Tables within Margins

When you first insert a table in your document, it extends from margin to margin. Later, after a bunch of editing and ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 3 + 7?

2022-01-29 06:38:27

Gregory Ashley

The following is a suggested macro for the OCD. For every column in the worksheet, round up each column width to nearest even integer.


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.

Videos
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.