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: Changing Column Width.

Changing Column Width

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 5, 2015)

Once you add columns to your document, you may decide you want to adjust the width of the columns. Word allows you to quickly adjust the width of individual columns in your document, as well as the space between columns. You can change the width of columns in your document in the following manner:

  1. Position the insertion pointer somewhere within the text that is already formatted for columns.
  2. Choose the Columns option from the Format menu. Word displays the Columns dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Columns dialog box.

  4. Clear the Equal Column Width check box if you don't want your columns to be an equal width. (The Equal Column Width check box is only accessible if you set the Number of Columns control to some value other than 1.)
  5. In the Width and Spacing area of the dialog box, adjust the width and spacing (the space between columns) for each column to reflect your desired page appearance. As you adjust one number, other columns and widths may be adjusted automatically. All these numbers are inter-related.
  6. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (983) 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: Changing Column Width.

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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