Create Columns Of Text In Word

Often, presenting a section of text in multiple columns can aid readability, add interest, and conserve space in your Word document. Having your text appearing in several columns can also give it a “newspaper” feel.

Knowing this, you might automatically start reaching for the insert table button, but there is a better way. Microsoft Word 2010 has the ability to set text out into any number of columns you desire. This facility was actually present in previous versions of Word, but this website is all about Word 2010!

To set your text out into columns, first of all select the text and then click Page Layout > Columns, and then select the number of columns you want.

Text In Columns In Word

When changing your text to appear in columns like this, Word inserts a section break before and after the columnised text. You won’t be able to see these section breaks unless you have displayed paragraph marks and other hidden formatting symbols (Home > Paragraph > Show/Hide).

Section Breaks Before and After Columns

Click to enlarge

The column options give you the choice of one, two, three, left and right columns. One to three are self explanatory but the left and right options might appear confusing. They will simply present your text in two columns with either the left or right one being narrower than the other.

If you need more than three columns, select the More Columns option at the bottom of the Columns menu.

More Columns

Here, you can specify as many columns as you need and you can also specify their widths. You can also use this window to insert a vertical line between columns.

Removing the columns is a simple case of converting the text back to one column, so you would follow the steps given previously and then choose one column. Be careful, because it’s very easy to leave a section break in that you didn’t intend to be there. Showing those hidden formatting symbols again will help spot these.