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MS Word - Managing Columns

Anthony Lucia
Anthony Lucia asked
I have Word 2013

I have never used columns in word before

I start a new document, create 7 lines, and then I select the first line (and only the first line).  I only need the top line of the document to be within a columnar format.

I go to Page Layout -> Columns, and choose "Three" for 3 columns

The spacing bar on top is showing 3 different columns (white areas), separated by 'grey areas.  So far, so good

I enter text in the first column, no problem, but I can not find a way to get to the second or third columns.  I have tried tabbing, or clicking on the location of the spacing bar on top, or clicking on the location, but I can not seem to get to the second or third columns

How can I get to and enter text into the second and third columns?

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I just got to the second column by accident.  I do not know how I did it

I entered text in it, and I can now go to the second or third columns, but I can not get to the third column

So once I enter text into the column, I can move to it.  But I do not seem to be able to enter te3xt into an empty column.

How can I move to the third column
Kyle AbrahamsSenior .Net Developer
You may want to insert a table rather then doing the page layout -> columns.

The page Layout -> columns affects the columns, the way you get to the 2nd column is by going to the bottom of the first column.  After you're at the bottom of the first column it will wrap to the 2nd column.


I went to the end of the column, I hit tab, but it stayed in the original column.  I went to the end of the column, and  entered text, it simply added another line.

Finally I went to the end of the column and did a CTL-V.   That pasted to the next column.  This worked well, and I can recreate it.

Is there any other way to do this other than a CTL-V

Top Expert 2012
Columns allow the text to 'snake', i.e.  when one column is full, the text overflows to the next column. Normally this means at the bottom of the page. If you don't want this, then use a table as  Kyle Abrahams suggests.

However, you can force an early overflow by inserting a column break (Page Layout, Breaks)
In fact, if you want to force a column change: Page Layout -> Page Setup -> Breaks and select Column