Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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: Changing the Number of Columns.

Changing the Number of Columns

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 7, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


If you have already added columns to your document, Word lets you easily change the number of columns you are using. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. If your document is formatted using more than one section and you only want to affect a single section, position the insertion point in the section that you want to affect.
  2. Display the Layout (Page Layout earlier versions of Word) tab of the ribbon.
  3. In the Page Setup group click Columns and then More Columns. Word displays the Columns dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Columns dialog box.

  5. Change the value in the Number of Columns field to the number of columns desired.
  6. Using the Apply To drop-down list, select Whole Document or This Section depending on what you want your change to affect.
  7. 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 (12914) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing the Number of Columns.

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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