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: Quickly Changing Columns.

Quickly Changing Columns

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 23, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Word provides a tool on the toolbar you can use to modify the number of columns in your document or in a text selection. If you click on the Columns tool (which is, by default, just to the left of the Drawing tool), Word shows a small dialog box containing four columns. To use this tool, you select the number of columns you want in your document or text selection. For instance, if you want three-column text, you would click on third column out of the four. If you click on a column and hold down the mouse button, you can drag the mouse to choose up to five columns. As you drag the mouse, the Cancel label (below the column layout) changes to indicate the number of columns that Word will create. When you release the mouse button, Word applies the selected column formatting to the current section of your document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (162) 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: Quickly Changing Columns.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

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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