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: Adding Columns to Your Page Layout.

Adding Columns to Your Page Layout

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 13, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


As you format your documents in Word, you may find it better to lay out your text in columns. This is usually done if you are developing a newsletter or a magazine layout. The number of columns you use is up to you—Word allows you to divide your page into as many as 100 columns (depending on your version of Word), although this may look a bit strange. To add columns, follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point at the beginning of the material you want to appear in columns.
  2. Select the Columns option from the Format menu. Word displays the Columns dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Columns dialog box.

  4. Click on one of the presets at the top of the dialog box, or specify the number of columns wanted in the Number of Columns field.
  5. If you don't want your entire document to have columns, in the Apply To drop-down list select This Point Forward. This causes Word to apply columns beginning where the insertion point is located.
  6. Click on the Line Between check box (if you want a vertical line between the columns).
  7. Click on OK.

What if you have a document and you want to format part of it in columns? As an example, let's assume you have a 5-page document, and you want to format the center part of page 2 as three columns. You want rest of the document to remain a single column. To overcome this formatting challenge there are only two changes you need to make to the above steps. First, in step 1, you need to select the text that will appear in the columns. Second, in step 4, you need to use the Apply To drop-down list to choose Selected Text.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (184) 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: Adding Columns to Your Page Layout.

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

Inserting a Document's Path

You can use the FILENAME field to insert a document's filename and, optionally, the path to that filename. However, if ...

Discover More

Checking Up On Numbers

When do you use digits in your prose and when do you spell out the numbers? Why not let Word help you make the decision? ...

Discover More

Fixing a Numeric Keypad Key

We all expect the keyboard keys to operate as normal, and when they don't, it can be bothersome. Geraldine had such a ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Using a Single-Column Heading in a Multi-Column Layout

Want different numbers of columns all on the same page? Word makes it easy to use, for instance, a heading that uses a ...

Discover More

Quickly Changing Columns

One of the tools on the Formatting toolbar is the Columns tool. You can use this tool to make quick changes to the number ...

Discover More

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 ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 two less than 9?

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.

Videos
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.