Word 2016: Columns

Updated 2017.06.05


·         Learn how to create "newspaper columns" in a Word document.


Columns: Use columns when you want text to flow continuously from one column to the next. These are sometimes called newspaper columns. Remember that columns apply to an entire section. If you want part of your document to have a different number of columns than the rest of your document, you must insert a section break before the text where you want the new number of columns to begin. Then use one of the methods below to change the number of columns.

To change the number of columns in the current section of your document:

·         Position the cursor in the section.

·         Then click on the Page Layout tab.

·         Click on the Columns button.

·         Either choose the desired number of columns from the pre-set values, or click on More Columns at the bottom of the drop-down list.


If you click on More Columns, the following dialog box will appear:


·         In the Presets group, click on the desired number of columns. If you want more than 3 columns, enter the number in the Number of columns box.

·         If you want a line between the columns, click on the Line between check box.

·         Be sure that the Apply To box is correct – if you only want to apply the columns to the current section, the word Section must appear here.

·         Click on the OK button when done.

Adjusting column widths using the dialog box.

Adjusting column widths using the ruler

·         In Print Layout view, position the cursor on the gray part of the ruler between the columns. When the cursor turns into a two-headed arrow, click and drag. If you hold the Alt key down while dragging, Word will display the column widths on the ruler:


Column Breaks

A column break is used to mark the end of one column and the beginning of another. If you want a word to begin at the top of a column:

·         Position the cursor to the left of that word.

·         Click on the Page Layout tab.

·         In the Page Setup group, click on Breaks.

·         Then click on Column.

·         A column break will be inserted at the cursor location.