How to Make Columns in Word: The Complete Guide

In the process of designing or formatting a text document, many users use columns in Word. Word columns highlight part or all of the text, attract attention, improve perception, break the document page into parts, etc.

Columns are vertical text boxes on a document page. They are used to create more expressive documents or to conveniently arrange large amounts of text on pages.

Columns are widely used in newspapers, magazines, brochures, advertising flyers. This formatting of the test looks more attractive, and the content of the printed product is easier to read than text stretched to full width.

In Word, text columns are often used when compiling various documents, contracts, instructions, etc. Two columns in Word are convenient to use when working with text in a foreign language, when the text content is divided into the original and the translation.

In Word, text can be typed in columns on a blank page, or the whole text or part of a document with already typed text can be divided into columns. The user can create two or more columns per page, set the width, use other necessary formatting for this element.

In this guide, we will look at several ways that solve the problem: how to make columns in Word on a blank page or on a page with typed text.

How to make two columns on a blank page in Word

Let’s analyze a typical case: we need to make 2 columns in the Word on a blank page of the document. With this method, you can split the page into a different number of columns, not necessarily two.

Follow the instructions below:

  1. Open an MS Word document on your computer.
  2. In Word 2019, Word 2016, Word for Microsoft 365, click the Layout tab. In Word 2013, Word 2010, or Word 2007, click the Page Layout tab.
  3. In the Page Setup group, click the Columns button.
  4. A drop-down menu will open, in which you need to select an item with the desired number of columns.

The created columns will automatically be distributed into equal parts and arranged from field to field. The width of the column depends on the number of elements created: the more columns on the page, the smaller their width.

By default, the program offers to create two or three columns, as well as columns shifted to the right or left. In some cases, the user needs to create more columns.

You can solve this problem in the following way:

  1. After clicking on the “Columns” button, in the context menu that opens, select the “More columns …” item.
  2. In the “Columns” window, in the “Number of columns” option, specify the required number of elements per document page. In the “Sample” field, you can see a visual view of the future formatting of these elements.

With the smallest possible margins on a page of a Word document in portrait orientation, the maximum number of columns is 15, and in landscape orientation, 22 columns.

How to make text columns in Word of different widths

Some users are interested in the question of how to make different columns in Word. In this case, you need to apply custom settings, change the default settings of the text editor to set your own values ​​for the number of columns, their width or spacing.

The user’s procedure for changing the default column width:

  1. In the open Word document, go to the tab “Layout” (in MS Word 2019, MS Word 2016, Word for Microsoft 365) or “Page Layout” (in MS Word 2013, MS Word 2010, MS Word 2007).
  2. Click on the “Columns” button located in the “Page Setup” group.
  3. In the context menu, select the “More columns …” item.
  4. In the “Columns” window, set the number of columns, and then turn off the “columns of equal width” option.
  5. In the “Width and Spacing” section, set the width for each column and the spacing between them separately.
  6. First set the width of the first column, then the first spacing (if needed). Next, set the width of the second column and the second gap, and so on. If you need a vertical line between columns on the document page, check the “Delimiter” box.
Do not set the width of the last column! If this is done, then the previously set parameters for the width of the columns and gaps will change. Therefore, if you have two columns in Word, then you do not need to specify the width of the second column.

When creating columns, the user can select the options: “Left” or “Right” to set columns of different widths, shifted to a certain side.

Typing in a column field

After we have decided the question of how to divide the future content of the page into columns in Word, we need to know the rules for typing when formatting a document like this.

Do the following:

  1. Place the mouse cursor at the beginning of the first column.
  2. Type text that will be limited to the width of this column.
  3. When text reaches the end of that column on the document page, the text entry cursor will automatically move to the next column to the right.

Now the text will be entered in the second (third and so on) column.

How to switch to another column in Word

There are situations when the text in the Word should be distributed in 2 columns, but there is not much of it in the first column, it is still far to the end of the page, and we need to type text in the second column. To solve this problem, you need to insert a page break into your Word document.

Go through the steps:

  1. In an open Word document window, click the Layout tab (Word 2019, Word 2016, Word for Microsoft 365) or Page Layout tab (Word 2013, Word 2010, Word 2007).
  2. Place the mouse pointer in the text where you want to go to the next column.
  3. In the Page Setup group, click the Breaks button.
  4. In the menu that opens, click on the “Column” (“Column”) item.
  5. The mouse cursor will move to the next column. Now you can enter text in another column.
  6. If you set the input cursor at a certain place in the text of the first column, then after inserting a page break, all subsequent text from this column will move to the next column.

How to split a page into columns in Word with different parameters

In some cases, it is necessary to set a different number of columns with custom parameters. For example, first you need to place two columns on the page, and then three or another number.

Go through the steps:

  1. In the Word document window, create the required number of columns, and then enter text in these columns.
  2. Position the mouse cursor at the end of the text in the far right column.
  3. From the Layout or Text Layout tab, go to the Page Setup group.
  4. Select the Speakers button.
  5. In the context menu, click on the “More columns …” item.
  6. In the “Columns” window, in the “Number of columns:” field, specify the desired number of columns.
  7. If you need columns of arbitrary width, uncheck the “columns of the same width” checkbox, and then set the width of the columns and gaps.
  8. In the “Apply:” item, you need to select the value: “Until the end of the document.”
  9. Click on the “OK” button.
  10. Continue typing in subsequent columns. In the text of the document, according to the previously selected settings, there will be a specified number of columns.

How to split text into columns in Word

Sometimes, users need to split already typed text into columns. Now we will see how to split text into columns in Word. You can split the entire text into columns or only a part of the text of the document.

Follow these steps to split text into two columns (or more) in Word:

  1. Open a Word document.
  2. Select the desired piece of text on the document page.
  3. Enter the “Layout” tab or in older versions of Microsoft Word – “Page Layout”.
  4. After clicking on the “Columns” button, select the desired number of columns from the menu that opens.
  5. The selected text will be divided into columns.

In case you need to make columns with arbitrary parameters, click on the “Other columns …” item from the “Column” button menu. In the “Column” window, set the necessary options for these elements as you wish.

We learned how to split text into columns in Word, now we need to understand how to delete a column in Word, if necessary.

How to remove columns in Word

A similar situation often occurs: a Word document has columns, and the user is no longer satisfied with such formatting. He needs to remove unnecessary columns from a text file. This can be done in several ways.

1 way to delete columns in a document with automatic transition from column to column:

  1. We set the mouse cursor in the text on any column in the Word document window.
  2. Go to the “Layout” or “Page Layout” tab.
  3. In the Page Setup group, click the Columns button.
  4. In the context menu that opens, select “One”.

After that, the text on the document page will be distributed without columns. If the text from the columns does not fit completely on this page, then part of the text will be automatically moved to the next page of the document.

Method 2, if a column break was used in the Word:

  1. Place the mouse pointer in the text field of any column.
  2. Click the Layout or Page Layout tab.
  3. Click the Columns button in the Page Setup group.
  4. In the open menu, select “One”.
  5. Manually delete the Column Break lines.

3 way with different number of columns on one page:

  1. Open a Word document.
  2. Select text in all columns.
  3. Click the Layout or Page Break tab.
  4. In the Page Setup group, click the Columns button.
  5. Select “Single” from the context menu.
  6. Manually remove the Page Break lines from the page.

Article Conclusions

In the process of working in the Word text editor, some users need to break the page into columns with text. You can do this using the built-in tools of the application. The program has several options for creating columns: on a blank page, on a page with text, self-creation of columns with custom parameters.

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