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 Column Width.

Changing Column Width

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 6, 2014)


Once you add columns to your document, you may decide you want to adjust the width of the 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 Page Layout 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, and 2013. 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. ...


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What is 1 + 8?

2016-10-13 06:50:00


Microsoft would make it that convoluted of course. If I were a GUI designer there I'd also have made a simpler shortcut as follows: highlight cell > click for context-sensitive dropdown menu > Cell properties > Height + Width settings etc.

2016-05-11 22:13:03


I like to learn how to format 2 columns in MICROSOFT WORD 2013 rapidly after we click column break in Page Setup group of Page Layout tab ? Is there any way to do it.

2015-09-12 05:06:13


This site is very helpful for everyone. Thankyou.

2015-07-23 04:40:52


This method does not appear to work if you want to change the widths of, say, two columns you have already set between continuous section breaks.

2015-01-31 11:24:25


Useful tips for exact expectation. Thank you.

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