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MS Word: How to Create Shorter Column in Two Column Layout

Insert Column Break in MS-Word
Samyak Lalit | July 9, 2013 (Last update: July 31, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

Microsoft Word provides a large number of exciting features for everyone’s need. Ability to create two-column or multi-column layout in MS Word is a feature that turns it into almost a professional page-setting tool. Sometimes you want to create a professional looking two (or more) column page just like that of a magazine, newspaper and some books. It is easy to create such two or more column layouts in MS Word.

But one of my readers asked if it was possible to keep one column shorter in length and move content into the next column? As per the normal behavior of columns in MS-Word, you have to fill the first column with content before moving into the next column. MS-Word users sometimes, however, want to only partially fill the first column and then move into the next one. Let’s learn how we can accomplish this.

SEE ALSO: More MS-Word Tips and Trick

STEP 1: Create a new document or open an existing document with columns.

STEP 2: Place cursor in the first column from where you want to break the text into the next column

STEP 3: Go to Page Layout tab

STEP 4: In Page Setup group of buttons, there is a button labeled as Breaks… click on this button

STEP 5: A menu will pop-up with various break options. Select Column from this menu.

MS-Word will insert a column break and put the cursor in the next column for you to continue typing in next column.

Insert Column Break in MS-Word

NOTE: If text was already there in the columns, text after the column break will be pushed into the next column

Inserting column break gives you blank space for placing items like clip-art, diagrams and photos in rest of the column. This is also good for layouts like writing a synopsis in one column and continue with the main text in the other column.

I hope that this tip was of help. Please let me know if you have any questions about this topic. I will be happy to try and answer your query. Thank you for using TechWelkin.


2 responses to “MS Word: How to Create Shorter Column in Two Column Layout”

  1. James Dionne says:

    This doesn’t work When I click on ‘Breaks’ I don’t get 2 columns – the cursor simply goes to the following page

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Hi James, probably you’re using an older version of MS-Word. If you see a small downward arrow on the right side of the “Breaks” button, click that arrow to open the dropdown menu.

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