How to Make Columns in Word


Have you ever wondered how to write text in columns like magazines or books? If so, this article is for you. You can make columns in Microsoft Word and add text in the columns seamlessly.

Making Columns in Word

To make columns in word, open an existing or a new document in Word. In the ribbon, click on the ‘Layout’ tab.

You will see ‘Page Setup’ options. Click on the ‘Columns’ icon to open the various options.

Select the number of columns you want to create from the first three options in the drop-down menu. Also, you have two options at the bottom, Left and Right. If you select ‘Left’, the width of content in the right column will be more while in the case of ‘Right’, the width of content in the column on the left will be more. If you want to create more than three columns, click on ‘More Columns…’

A ‘Columns’ dialog box will open. Enter the number of columns you need to create in ‘Number of columns’ value box and click ‘OK’.

The text in the document will now transform according to the number of columns you created. If your document is new, you can type the text which will be aligned in the columns automatically.

Setting Custom Width and Spacing

There are options to create columns according to the width or spacing you want in Word. Click on the ‘Layout’ tab → Click on ‘Columns’ → Select ‘More Columns…’

In the ‘Columns’ dialog box that appears, enter the number of columns you want to create. Then change the values according to your need in ‘Width’ and ‘Spacing’ columns and Click ‘OK’.

The columns you created with custom width will have equal width on every column. For example, if you have created three columns with custom width of 3.8 cm, then the three columns in the document will have same width.

If you need to create columns with different widths, uncheck the ‘Equal column width’ checkbox in the ‘Column’ dialog box and enter the values against each column and click ‘OK’.

Making Columns from Specific Point/Section

There may be a need to make columns in a specific point/page of a document. If you are creating a cover page, creating columns to the whole document will be of no use.

To create columns from a specific point, place the cursor at the starting point from where you need columns and click on the ‘Layout’ tab in the ribbon → Click on ‘Columns’ in the Page Setup section → select ‘More Columns..’ → Enter the number of columns you want in ‘Number of columns’ value box.

Now, click on the drop-down button beside ‘Apply to:’ and select ‘This point forward’ if you want to create columns from a specific point or select ‘This section’ if you want to create columns for a specific section and click ‘OK’.

Enabling ‘Show Text Boundaries’

Many users prefer text boundary as it helps them distinguish and easily identify the various text columns, thus eliminating the chances of confusion. Text boundary is by default disabled in Word and you can easily enable it from the ‘File Menu’. Also, it can be enabled both, when you start with the document or after you are done.

Select and open the ‘File’ menu from the ribbon at the top.

Now, you will see the various settings and details for the current document. In the list of icons at the left, click on ‘Options’.

The ‘Word Options’ window will open, now select the ‘Advanced’ tab on the left.

In the ‘Advanced’ tab, scroll down to ‘Show document content’, tick the checkbox for ‘Show text boundaries’ and then click on ‘OK’ at the bottom to apply the change.

Once you have enabled the text boundaries, you will notice lines around the text in your document which will help identify the various columns and paragraph breaks.

This will help you in making columns for the whole document or from a specific point in Microsoft Word and customize them according to your need.