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How to make columns in Microsoft Word

You may find yourself needing to separate your document, or at least part of it, into parallel columns, the good thing is Word makes it easy to do so. When separating the text into columns, it flows from one column and continues to the other one next to it. You can also separate just a part of your text. This is useful for writing a newsletter, a scientific paper, or to just separate your content and make it easier to read.

So, in this guide, you will learn how to create columns in Word using different methods.

How to make two columns in Microsoft Word

With this method, you will be able to split your Word document into two separate columns.

  1. First, we have to open the document we want to edit. It can be a blank document but it needs to have some text first in order to separate it into columns.
  2. Select the text that you want to separate into columns.
    how to make columns in word
  3. Click on the Layout tab (Formerly Page Layout for Word 2007 and 2010)
    page layout
  4. Click the Columns button on the Page Setup section
    Page setup
  5. This opens up a list that lets you select the number of columns you want to separate your text. We will choose two columns.
    column numbers
  6. Once you have selected two columns, Word will separate your text into two columns.
    select two columns
  7. The text you write in will go from the left column to the right.

How to make three columns or more in Microsoft Word

Sometimes you are in the need of separating your text into more than two columns. The amazing thing about Word is that it lets you separate it into three or more columns. Here are the steps for doing so:

  1. Open up the document you want to edit
  2. Select the text you want to separate into columns
    select text
  3. Click on the Layout tab (Formerly Page Layout for Word 2007 and 2010)
    layout tab
  4. Click the Columns button on the Page Setup section
  5. If you need to separate the text into three columns, click on Three, and the text will be separated into 3 columns.
    select more columns
  6. If you need to have more than 3 columns, click on More columns
  7. There you will be able to manually enter the number of columns you want. 
    enter column numbers
    Pro tip: In this section, you can also specify the Width and Spacing of the columns
  8. You can select if you want to apply the columns to the selected text only, the whole document, or from a specific point forward.
    apply selected to columns

Now you may be asking, “how do I control where the column ends?”. Well, Microsoft Word has a function that lets you do that, and it's called Break. Let’s break it down

How to make a column break on Microsoft Word

If you are using columns and want the text you have to start atop the next column, you can use a column break. Here are the steps

  1. Click on the beginning of the text you want to start the next column
    how to make column breaks in word
  2. Click the Layout tab (formerly known as Page Layout for Word 2007 and Word 2010)
    layout tab
  3. In the Page Setup section, you will find the Break button. This will show you the different options for Page breaks and section breaks. In the Page break portion, click on Column
    page breaks in word
  4. Now the column will start at the point you have selected
    column

And that’s it! You are now a Pro at creating columns in Microsoft Word. You can repeat these steps anytime you need it.

If you are still craving for more tips on how to use Word or other Office apps, why don’t you subscribe to our Newsletter Here? You can also check our blog here to help you boost your productivity.

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