Column Breaks in Word


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A manual column break in Word lets you control exactly where Word wraps to the next column. Here’s how to insert a column break, find one and delete it.

To put your text into columns, highlight the text and go to Layout | Page Setup |Columns and choose the number of columns you want to use. We will do a two-column layout.

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The text is now laid out in two columns:

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Inserting a Column Break

Let’s say we don’t want our text to go to the new column in the middle of a paragraph, so we want to put a column break where the new paragraph starts. Put your cursor at the point where you want the text to go to the next column and do one of the following:

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter.
  • Go to Layout | Page Setup | Breaks | Column.

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Now our new column starts at the beginning of the paragraph:

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Deleting a Column Break

It’s easiest to delete a column break if you can see it, and to see it you need to turn on Show All under Home | Paragraph.

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Now you can see the column break, just click at the beginning of the page break line and click Delete.

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Removing Columns

If you decide you no longer want your text in columns, just go back to Layout | Page Setup | Columns, and this time select One.

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If you still have any column breaks in the text when you turn it back into a single column, those breaks will remain and will act like a page break. To get all the text back onto one page, just remove the column break as described above.

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