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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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Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Columns in a Text Box.
When you plan the layout of your document, you can utilize columns in your design. You can also use text boxes to place "special" information into your document. What if you want to place columns within a text box, though?
Unfortunately, this cannot be done. The reason is rather simple, based on an understanding of how Word documents are constructed. Columns are a feature available on a section-by-section basis within a document. Sections (and therefore columns) reside on the text layer of a document. Text boxes, however, are independent elements that reside on the graphics layer of a document. They are graphics-based, not text-based, even though you can include formatted text within a text box.
There are ways around the problem, however. Since text boxes are designed to contain limited amounts of text, you could place a table within the text box and place your text within the columns of the table. This will, of course, require you to manipulate the text by hand since it won't automatically "snake" from one table column to another. For limited text it can do the trick quite nicely, however.
Another possible solution is to use multiple text boxes. Follow these general steps:
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3405) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Columns in a Text Box.
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