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Creating Columns

If you split your Word document into columns then you can type your text and it will flow down the first column and then start to fill the second column when it has reached the bottom of the first one.  This can give an effect rather like a newspaper and is useful for newsletters, etc.

To split your document into columns, click on Format -> Columns and you will see the Columns window.

Select the number of columns you require using the diagrams at the top or type the number in the Number of columns box.  If you want all your columns the same width you should make sure there is a tick in the Equal column width box.  You can change the widths of the columns and the gap between them using the Widths and spacing boxes in the centre of the window.  If you want a separator line between each column you can tick the Line between box on the right-hand side of the window.  When you are happy that you have set your columns up as required you can click the OK button.

When you have created your columns you will see the ruler at the top of your document change (click on View -> Ruler if you cannot see it).

The white areas on the ruler are the two columns, you can tell that your document has been formatted into columns by looking at the ruler.

To create your document you can now start typing in the first column.  If you reach the bottom of the page and carry on typing your text will automatically carry on into the second column.  However, in order to make your document look tidy and keep your columns roughly equal in length you may wish to force a new column to start before you reach the end of the page.

Column Breaks

To start the next column before you have reached the end of the current column, click on Insert -> Break and select Column Break from the window that appears.

When you click OK your cursor will appear at the top of the next column and you can carry on typing.

Later, when you have added extra text to your document you may find that the original column breaks you used are now in the wrong place.  The easiest way to see your column breaks is to change to Normal view by clicking on View -> Normal, this will display all the column, page and section breaks in your document as dotted lines.  To remove a break you can click on the line representing it and press the small square Del key on your keyboard to remove it.  To change back to seeing your columns as normal, click on View -> Print Layout.