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: Jumping between Columns.

Jumping between Columns

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 5, 2019)

If you are working with multiple columns in your document, you may need to jump from column to column at times. The standard way to do this (using the keyboard) is to use the Alt key in conjunction with the up and down arrow keys. If you press Alt+Down Arrow, the insertion point is moved to the top of the next column. If you press Alt+Up Arrow, the insertion point goes to the top of the previous column.

You should note that this feature only works if you are viewing your document in Print Layout View. Plus, if there are only a partial number of columns visible on the screen, this movement method will only cycle between the visible columns. For instance, let's say that you have your document formatted for three columns. If you are viewing the last page of the document, there could be one, two, or three columns visible. (You might not have enough text to fill up three columns on that last page.) In this case, you will only cycle between the columns on the screen.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1218) 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: Jumping between 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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