How to Make Columns in Microsoft Word

By Tricia Goss

Microsoft Word is a commonly used word processing program. Most office workers and many home PC users are familiar with the intuitive menus, using Word to type up everything from letters to reports. A very helpful, yet often underused feature of Word is the ability to make columns, much like you might find in a newsletter or magazine. These steps will show you how to add columns to part or all of a Word document.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Word 2003 or 2007

Step 1

Open a blank Word document, or open an existing document if you want to change the text into columns. Switch to "Print Layout" view by going to the "View" menu in Word 2003 and selecting "Print Layout," or going to the "View" tab in Word 2007 and selecting "Print Layout."

Step 2

Select the text you want to make into columns. Use your mouse to select the text you want to format. If you want to format the entire document into columns, click on "Select All" from the "Edit" menu in Word 2003 or the "Editing" section of the Home tab in Word 2007. You can also use the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+A." If you are making columns on a new, blank document, you do not have to select any text.

Step 3

Click the "Columns" button on the Standard toolbar in Word 2003. If you are using Word 2007, go to the "Page Layout" tab of the ribbon and click the "Columns" drop down arrow.

Step 4

Select the number of columns you want in your Word document. If you are using Word 2003, click your left mouse button and drag it across the columns drop down to select the number of columns you want to use. In Word 2007, select an option from the "Columns" drop down, or click on "More Columns."

Step 5

Remove columns or change the number of columns in a Word document by selecting the text and choosing one column (to remove the columns) or the new number of columns you want to apply.

Tips & Warnings

  • Drag the column markers on the horizontal ruler to change the width of a column.