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Creating Multiple Columns in Word 2007
Multiple columns are most commonly used within publications such as magazines, newspapers and newsletters. The column function within Word is flexible allowing multiple columns, with different widths and spaces between the columns.
To create columns in your document, Select the Page Layout tab and under Page Setup you will find the Columns command. Clicking on Columns opens the drop down menu allowing you to choose One, Two, Three, Left, Right and More Columns. Choosing Two or Three will give you even columns with even space between them. Left and Right will give you two columns, one wide and one narrow, with the narrow side either on the left or right.
Selecting More Columns opens the Columns dialogue box. From the image you can see that the Presets are on the top. Number of columns allows you to choose up to nine columns. Next to that is a check box for adding a line between each column. The Preview window displays how your choices will look.
Width and spacing allows you to control the width of each column individually and also the space between the columns. If you want all the space to remain the same, click the box next to Equal column width. When the box is checked, any changes you make under Width and spacing will affect all the columns. Apply to options change depending where your cursor is located in the document or if you have text selected. Apply can be to the whole document, to the section your cursor is located or from this point forward or applied to your selection. Start new column will force a new column from where your cursor is located. This is especially useful if a title or subtitle ends up at or near the bottom of a column. Instead of inserting blank lines, you can select Start new column and that will do the trick.
Once you have created your columns you can also change the width by putting your cursor on the box that is on the ruler between your columns, hold your mouse key and then slide the box either left or right to adjust the width. This will only work if you have unchecked the Equal column width function in the Column dialogue box.
Pictures when inserted into a column will automatically reduce width-wise to fit the space. However, if you widen the column the image will not enlarge with it. And the same thing if you make the column narrower, part of the image will be cut off. Either way, you will have to either delete and insert the image again or resize it by clicking on it and adjusting the size using the corner nodes (to resize proportionately) or side nodes (to squish your image). If the image is too tall it will place into the next column.
The next time you need columns in your document, try using Word 7. It offers lots of choices and control in creating columns. The best way to see how they work is to try it out for yourself!
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