How to Convert Two Columns to One Column in Word

Microsoft Word 2013 supports using numerous columns in a document. Though a two-column, newspaper format makes text convenient to scan, it's not well-suited for typical reports, reference materials, title pages and many documents. To convert all or part of your document from two columns to one column, Word provides a convenient, clickable method.

Step 1

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Click and drag your mouse over the portion of text that you want to be a single column. Alternatively, click a starting point, hold the Shift key and click the ending position to select all text in-between. Your selection does not need to include an entire paragraph or section of the column — you can begin and end the selection anywhere.

Tip

Press Ctrl-A to highlight the entire document if you want to convert everything to a single column at one time.

Warning

Clicking anywhere within a two-column layout will invisibly select the continuous block of text. However, relying on this selection method may produce unexpected results if there are hidden formatting elements that separate blocks of text in the background.

Step 2

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Click the Page Layout tab to access page formatting tools.

Step 3

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Click Columns in the Page Setup group and select One to convert the selected text to a single column.

Image Credit: C. Taylor

Once completed, only the selected text is converted, keeping the unselected text as is.

Tip

If an important block of text unexpectedly wraps to the second column, force that block to begin on the second column. To do so, move your cursor just below the block of text, select the Page Layout tab, click Breaks in the Page Setup group and choose Column. Assuming the text isn't longer than the page, the whole block will appear in the one right-side column.

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