How to Divide a Page Into Columns in Microsoft Word

By Alan Sembera

Dividing your Word document into newspaper-style columns often creates a more appealing layout and makes long text segments easier to read. You can apply the column formatting to a single page or to your entire document. When the column formatting is applied, text and graphics automatically flows from one column to the next. You can control how your text flows from one column to another using column breaks.

Step 1

Highlight all of the text on a page if you want to create columns on only a single page. To divide the entire document into columns, leave the text unselected.

Step 2

Select the "Page Layout" tab, then click "Columns."

Step 3

Select the number of columns from the drop-down list. You can choose to create up to three columns. You can also select the "Left" or "Right" options to create a narrow column along the side of your page. Word automatically divides your page or document into columns based on your selection.

Step 4

Click "Columns" and then "More Columns" if you want to customize the column layout or create more than three columns. This opens the Columns dialog box, where you can add more columns, adjust the width of each column, adjust the space between the columns or add lines between the columns.

Step 5

Insert column breaks if you want to control which text appears in which column. For example, if a page contains two blocks of text, insert a column break at the end of the first block so that the second block starts at the top of the next column. To insert the column break, click the "Breaks" command and then select "Column" from the drop-down list.