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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 12, 2014)

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Setting Line Spacing in the Equation Editor

The Equation Editor can be a great boon when you need to include complex mathematical equations in your document. The editor ...

Discover More

Moving Cells Using the Mouse

Want to easily move information from one cell to another? A quick way to do it is to simply drag and drop using the mouse.

Discover More

Selecting a Column or Row in a Table

Selecting rows and columns in tables is a common task. Because of this, Word provides a couple of ways you can accomplish it, ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Changing the Number of Columns in the Middle of a Document

Need to have multiple columns in a page layout that normally consists of a single column? You can change the column layout by ...

Discover More

Mixing Column Formats On a Page

Want to switch the number of columns used for your text, in the middle of a page? You can do this very easily by following ...

Discover More

Jumping between Columns

Need to jump from one column to another on a page? You can use the handy shortcut keys described in this tip.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three more than 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.