When you produce numerous columns in Word, they default to a set width. It’s easy to change that default width for each column. Let’s take a look at 2 methods you can do that.
Set Up Column Width Precisely with the Columns Dialog Box
When you set a Word file to use multiple columns, Word designates a default column width that depends on the number of columns you select. Here are those default widths:
And it goes on like that. Word lets you have up to 13 columns, and the more you include, the less area each column gets.
If you’re delighted with the defaults, you can just set the number of columns you desire and tackle your service. But, you can change things up if you desire. Perhaps you want smaller sized columns, with more area in between those columns. Or, maybe you 2 columns to be a comparable size, and after that have a smaller sized column off to the right.
Let’s have a look at how to do all that using the “Columns” dialog box. This is the best method to set up columns if you don’t yet have any text in your document, or if you understand the accurate measurements you want to strike.
In Word, switch to the “Layout” tab on the Ribbon. That’s where the column magic occurs. Click the “Columns” button and a dropdown menu opens with a variety of choices. Choose any of the numbers on the list to create that numerous columns with their default widths. Select the “Left” or “Right” options to develop a two-column design where the column you chose (left or right) is smaller sized– about half the size of the other column. It’s the “More Columns” option we’re after here. Click that to set up your own customized column widths.
The “Columns” window that pops up lets you perform your customization. The “Presets” section consists of the very same options you saw on the “Columns” menu. You can also use the “Number Of Columns” box to set a particular number of columns from 1 to 13. So, start by picking how many columns you want.
Select the “Line Between” alternative to have Word put a vertical line in between columns.
And now, on to in fact adjusting the column width. If you want your columns to all remain the same width as one another, you can just change the number in the “Width” box for column # 1. Modifications you make there apply to all columns, no matter the number of you have. Very same goes for spacing. Change the number in the “Spacing” box for column # 1 to alter the spacing between all columns.
Note that as you change one value (width or spacing), the other value changes as well. Bump up the width, and the spacing goes down. Bump up the spacing, and the width decreases. You only have so much page width to deal with, after all. Here, we set the width to 1 ″ and the spacing increased to 1.75 ″ to compensate.
If you want to manage the width of each column separately (making some broader and some narrower), disable the “Equal Column Width” check box. When you do that, the width and spacing boxes for each column appeared, and you can alter them however you please. Remember that you still have a fixed page width to work with, so adjust the width or spacing for one column will trigger the others to alter. You may have to deal with it a bit to get things how you desire them.
Here, we’ve set up three columns. The first 2 are 2 ″ in width and the 3rd is smaller at 1.5 ″. We left a. 5 ″ spacing in between all columns.
Keep in mind also that you do not get to adjust spacing for your last column. This makes good sense, since the spacing just happens in between columns.
Change Column Width on the Fly with Word’s Rulers
Now that you’ve seen how to establish column widths using the dialog box, let’s take a look at how you can alter them on the fly with the Word ruler. This approach is fantastic if you currently have columns in your file and you wish to experiment with widths to see what looks right to you.
Initially, you require to make certain that your document rulers are visible. If you can’t see them, switch to the “View” tab on the Ribbon, and after that pick the “Ruler” option. Word’s rulers are fantastic for lining things up, keeping tabs on measurements, and controlling indentation and margins. You must truly leave them on all the time.
Assuming you’ve already got your document set up for 2 or more margins, look at the horizontal ruler at the top of the page. You can see that there’s a gray area in the middle of the ruler between the two columns.
That represents the spacing between columns that we talked about in the previous area, and it’s specified by 2 margin markers (the upside-down “L”).
Dragging either among the margin markers changes the size of the spacing, and the margins for the columns themselves. For instance, if you slide the left margin marker to the left, the right maring marker immediately relocates to the right, increasing the size of the spacing between those margins. The columns of text in your document modification as you do this, too, offering you immediate feedback on how the changes will look.
Here, we’ve dragged it so the spacing is much higher than the default, leaving a large space between columns.
You most likely observed that the ruler also consists of a small white triangle (although where it appears modifications based on which column you’ve chosen text in. That’s the indent marker, and it lets you manage the interior indent on paragraphs in each column– the right indent for the left column and the left indent for the right column. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to use indents, make certain to check out that guide to using rulers in Word we discussed previously. Indent control works the very same whether you have several columns or simply one.
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