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WORD - Multiple columns with different data

Posted on 2003-02-24
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I am trying to find out how to get MS WORD columns to  display different data. For example a 100 page document that has English in column 1 on every page and Spanish in column 2 on every page.

I can only get a 2 column Documnet with all english first (50 pages) and all spanish second (50 pages). Not what I want.

Did I explain this well?

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Question by:sambo1011
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21 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:sambo1011
ID: 8014427
This is WORD 2000

And better yet I am looking for English to be contineous in Columns 1 and 3 and Spanish in Column 2 for all the pages.

I wasn planning to use Tables unless I must.
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Expert Comment

by:heathweaver
ID: 8014646
Although it isn't what you asked for let me offer some tips. I set up a document for French vocabulary words starting out exactly how you proposed after working with it for a while I actually moved it over to Excel and set up a user form on top of a database. I turned it into a pseudo program that offers me a word in English and then I have to enter the French word.

Long story short, think options.

Now as for your problem, You might want to consider using tabs instead of Columns. Maybe my reasoning is funny but Word works in pages not in columns in rows. With that being said you could use the page set up and create a page that is hella long, say 22" (that being the longest you could do) then shrink the text down a bit. You could get 160 lines per page.

Next idea with tabs just set up a tab (Format => Tabs...) in the middle of the page, or use the style guide (Format => Style...) and separate all of your words with a tab character. You could start out by typing the two words separated by a space and then Find|Replace with a Tab. This will give you greater control over spacing.

Anyway, not what you asked, but worth a try.

Happy Wording,

::h::
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Expert Comment

by:MacroWizard
ID: 8016950
I agree with heathwaever. You have to think options. Word works in newspaper columns, meaning text runs from pg1, col 1 to pg 1 col 2, then to pg 2, col 1 to pg 2 col 2. Not what you want. WordPerfect has the kind of columns you want, which are called parallel columns.

Maybe you could set it up in Excel, so you can sort by columnor whatever you want to do, then import it into Word?
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Expert Comment

by:Dreamboat
ID: 8018393
I'm not sure why you would not want to use tables, which is the best method for what you're trying to accomplish.

Rule of thumb: Create a new row for each paragraph instead of for each "item". While you may have an item, for instance, that has one paragraph in column A, two paragraphs in column B, and three in column C (for instance, a troubleshooting manual may have the problem in column A, the things to check in column B, and in column C, the details of how to check those items).

After you are all done creating the table, you simply remove border lines on all of it, or only for the separations between items.

One of the few quirks on this is that, by default, Word allows rows to break between pages. I hate that. Select the table, go to Table-Properties, Row tab and uncheck it.

Make your paragraphs short, for instance, less than an inch if possible.

I've written a complete document on tables alone. You can download it from here:
http://www.theofficeexperts.com/word.htm#AllAboutTables

I hope it helps you with tables, regarless of the method you end up using.
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Author Comment

by:sambo1011
ID: 8018924
Since is sounds as if WORD's newspaper columns will not work for me, as I need different text to flow in column 2 than column 1 a 3, can tables do this?

I need still need page 1 column 1 to flow into page 1 column 3 then page 2 column 1 followed by page 2 column 3 etc. With column 2 being different.

There is a lot of text and would have to be a single row as text may be added shifting text from the bottom of column 1 to the top of column 3.

Will WordPerfect's parallel columns do what I need?
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Expert Comment

by:Dreamboat
ID: 8019014
I'm lost, Sambo. I don't know what you mean by "column 2 being different".

I don't think Wordperfect will even do what you want...

The only way I know of in Word would be for you to place textboxes on each page. You can then tell the textboxes to flow from one to the next, but what a horribly ugly layout to work with.

If you have a file you can send that shows your layout, I'd love to see it. Anne@TheOfficeExperts.com

If you have only a hard copy, you can fax it to 215-536-3790. I understand if you're overseas...
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Expert Comment

by:heathweaver
ID: 8020123
sambo1011,

Let me tell you I really think the best thing for you to do is just type all your words seperated by a comma.

When you are done select all of your text and go to Tables => Convert =>
   Number of columns: 3  1) English, 2) Spacer, 3) Espanol
   AutoFit behavior:  AutoFit to contents
   Seperate text at:  Commas

You can delete the middle column out if it bothers you after you are done. Put your cursor in the center column and go to Tables => Delete => Columns

If you need any help formatting the table, just ask.
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Expert Comment

by:Dreamboat
ID: 8020195
Sambo/Heath: Suspecting that your text will already have commas, I'd suggest using a pipe character in Heath's suggestion instead. It's rarely used in text.

It's this character here:   |
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Expert Comment

by:heathweaver
ID: 8020289
Good idea. I suggested a comma just for the sake of .csv
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Author Comment

by:sambo1011
ID: 8020737
Here is an example,

I have large text, like say a book "Tom Sawyer". I need the Tom Sawyer text to flow in columns 1 and 3 for all the pages. And column 2 would contain somthing like a commentary, index, glossary, footnote type stuff, etc. relating to the text on a page.

Or say like a Bible that has a cross reference column in the center of the page (column2) with the bible text on each side of the page, (column 1 and 3).  

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Accepted Solution

by:
Dreamboat earned 200 total points
ID: 8020810
The best way that I can think of:

Make a 2-column layout/landscape.

On the left-hand column, make the right-indent about 1.75"
On the right-handl column, make the left-indent about 1.75"

Put a text box in the middle of each page. But you must join the textboxes so that the text flow is accurate...
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Expert Comment

by:MacroWizard
ID: 8020904
WordPerfect has what you want, parallel columns; columns that flow from pg 1 col 1 to pg 2 col 1 to pg 3 col 1 etc.


But if Word is your only option, could you maybe work with 3 files and print the same pages three times? Say, the first file would represent col 1; it would have a left margin of 1 inch and a right margin of 5 inches. The second file would have a left margin of 4 inches and a right margin of 3.5 inches. The third file would have a left margin of 5.5 inches and a right margin of 0.5 inches. That would give you 3 columns, column 1 and 3 being 2.5 inches wide, and column 2 1 inch wide. The advantage would be to write paragraphs and not worry about cells or page limitations. The disadvangtages are that you can't see all of your work together until you print it and then the printing might be a pain with static etc.

Text boxes are OK, but as mentioned earlier, a bit of a pain to work with. So which is the bigger pain?

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Expert Comment

by:Dreamboat
ID: 8021092
Mac: The 3 files thing is not such a bad idea, but I'm not sure that Sambo will be able to easily see what he's got next to what.

He also said:

I need still need page 1 column 1 to flow into page 1 column 3 then page 2 column 1 followed by page 2 column 3 etc. With column 2 being different.

He did not say:

Page 1 column 1 to
Page 2 column 1 to
Page 3 column 1

This gets more and more interesting.
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Expert Comment

by:MacroWizard
ID: 8021296
Hmmmm... I understood it a little differently. Maybe you can clarify Sambo? Does column 1 flow into column 3 or are they seperate?
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Author Comment

by:sambo1011
ID: 8021620
Column 1 and 3 are from the same text. Column 2 is different.

page 1 column 1 flow to
page 1 column 3 flow to
page 2 column 1 flow to
page 2 column 3 flow to
page 3 column 1 flow to
page 3 column 3 flow to
...

With column 2 from a different text.

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Expert Comment

by:MacroWizard
ID: 8025698
Thanks for the clarification. Looks like Dreamboat has your answer, Sambo. Newspaper columns with linked text boxes down the middle. Good luck!
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Expert Comment

by:MacroWizard
ID: 8025770
Thanks for the clarification. Looks like Dreamboat has your answer, Sambo. Newspaper columns with linked text boxes down the middle. Good luck!
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Author Comment

by:sambo1011
ID: 8027053
How do you join the textboxes so that the text flow is accurate?
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Author Comment

by:sambo1011
ID: 8027099
I figured it out.

Would Wordperfect do what I was wanting? The Text boxes are do-able but not quite the lokk I was wanting.
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Expert Comment

by:MacroWizard
ID: 8027159
No, WordPerfect will not do what you want, only if all three columns are seperate. This is probably your best solution. If you are unfamiliar with text boxes, you can take the borders off, change the direction of the text, etc. Look in MS Word help to see all of the options.
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Expert Comment

by:Dreamboat
ID: 8027511
sambo:
If you want a sample, just email me sample text...

Anne@TheOfficeExperts.com
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