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Using columns

From: Word 2010 Essential Training

Video: Using columns

There are three reasons you might choose to use columns in a document. First, you might use them as a design element to add interest to a section of text, or to the entire document. Second, you might use them simply to save space, because you have some text that doesn't take up the width of the page, but it takes up a lot of page length. Then finally, you might choose to use columns because you want to have some material presented as a block, rather than as a long list, for comprehension and also to ensure it all fits on one page together. So let's see how we might use columns in our employee handbook.

Using columns

There are three reasons you might choose to use columns in a document. First, you might use them as a design element to add interest to a section of text, or to the entire document. Second, you might use them simply to save space, because you have some text that doesn't take up the width of the page, but it takes up a lot of page length. Then finally, you might choose to use columns because you want to have some material presented as a block, rather than as a long list, for comprehension and also to ensure it all fits on one page together. So let's see how we might use columns in our employee handbook.

So, first to think about using columns as a design element, let's just take a look at this section of text on this page to get a feel for this. So, if, for example, we choose Columns, we'll find that our text is already in columns. It's just in only one of them. If I choose then Two columns, you'll note that my text is evenly split between the two columns, so that it has more of a look like newspaper text, for example. You might wonder why it doesn't look quite like newspaper text. Well, largely because it hasn't been justified.

So, if I were to go back to the Home tab and in the Paragraph group choose Justified, now I've what looks more like newspaper text, particularly if I fill entire pages with it. I'm going to return to one column by choosing Undo and go back to Page Layout. I can have more columns. I can have three columns, or there are a couple of Custom layouts that are actually quite interesting. One is what's called the Left column, with a small column on the left and more text on the right, or a Right column, which is the reverse of that.

There might be reasons that these would be very attractive. On other pages, for example, we might have a graphic image here. Note though that this looks amazingly like a sidebar, so you'll want to make sure all the text has the same background, or people will treat these as two very different items. And I can also go in, and I can custom set my columns. So, I can say that I have one column and go back is the easy way to start. Then say that I'd like to have specific columns and where they start and stop. By applying these to selected text, Word will actually put my section breaks in for me.

So, let's have two equal width columns that are 3 inches wide, and let's reduce the spacing slightly between them, and here are our two columns. Now if I to go the Home tab and we Show/ Hide the paragraph and the non-printing characters in our document, we'll actually see one section break - note this double-dotted line - and then a second section break setting off this section, which is formatted in a different fashion than the sections that proceed and follow it.

The second reason that I might want to use columns is that I have data that would take up a lot of space, if I weren't to put it in columns. Let's take a look at part 3.15 SAFETY that immediately follows this. And I just have this list of five items, but I could present this list in two columns and pick up a little space and also, it even looks better in many ways. So, let's select our text, go back to Page Layout, and say show me this in two columns. And you'll notice that this list looks fine this way.

There's nothing wrong with it, and I've picked up some space. If this is the difference between this list fitting on a page or not, or this document printing on one or two sides of a sheet, or a third sheet, these begin to look like good choices, these spacing choices. Now, I'm going to go and take a look at the section of the document that has standards of conduct, which began at Section 4, because I have another table right away that I have some concerns about. This is a long table.

This is a table of reasons that we can fire you. So, it's an important list. What happens if more text gets added and this list begins to slide off the page so that now it doesn't fit any longer altogether? And it's reasonable for somebody to say I didn't know about those last three points, because they weren't on the same page as my first points were. So, by putting all of the information into columns, I am better able to keep this text together, because it will stand out from the text above and below it that's formatted in single column.

So, I'm going to select my text. I'm going to choose Columns > Two columns. Notice that even though the text takes up a little more space, because there is this white space here, it's true that it clearly stands out as a list that's different from the left to right flow of single column that proceeds and follows it. So, you might say that bulleted list in the middle of the page and people say oh, yup, I looked and I saw that list, because it stands out in contrast. Even after I've made this choice, remember that I can go back into More Columns, and I can say I don't need that much white space, or make some other adjustments about how these columns actually appear in my final document.

If you've worked with the older versions of Word, or with other word processing programs, you might have been avoiding columns, because they were so hard to work with. However, in Word 2010, it is wicked easy to create columns in your documents, whether you want One column, Two column, Three column or to remove columns, very easy feature to use. Don't overlook it.

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This video is part of

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Word 2010 Essential Training

89 video lessons · 58035 viewers

Gini Courter
Author

 
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  1. 5m 39s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 34s
    3. Creating placeholder text
      2m 57s
  2. 33m 47s
    1. Using the Word interface
      8m 56s
    2. Understanding the Ribbon
      8m 10s
    3. Customizing the Quick Access toolbar
      3m 10s
    4. Using Word's document tools
      8m 5s
    5. Using the Navigation pane to find words or phrases in a document
      5m 26s
  3. 30m 53s
    1. Managing documents with Backstage view
      4m 42s
    2. Creating a new document from a template
      5m 11s
    3. Making it easy to find and open documents
      3m 59s
    4. Saving a Word document for yourself or others
      7m 1s
    5. Printing a document and choosing a printer
      3m 33s
    6. Setting print options
      6m 27s
  4. 24m 24s
    1. Selecting text using the mouse and keyboard shortcuts
      4m 57s
    2. Rearranging text using Cut, Copy, and Paste
      7m 38s
    3. Undoing and redoing actions
      4m 8s
    4. Finding and replacing text
      7m 41s
  5. 27m 40s
    1. Understanding fonts
      6m 32s
    2. Working with fonts
      5m 29s
    3. Applying basic formatting
      6m 25s
    4. Changing the case of text
      4m 22s
    5. Using text effects and adding impact to a document
      4m 52s
  6. 29m 44s
    1. Aligning and justifying paragraphs
      2m 55s
    2. Changing line spacing
      5m 2s
    3. Using indents and setting tabs
      7m 20s
    4. Creating a bulleted or numbered list
      6m 11s
    5. Keeping text together through page breaks
      4m 2s
    6. Applying shading and borders to paragraphs
      4m 14s
  7. 50m 10s
    1. Power formatting with styles
      7m 34s
    2. Changing a document's theme
      6m 59s
    3. Changing style sets, color sets, fonts, and paragraph spacing
      3m 31s
    4. Applying Quick Styles and clearing formatting
      5m 18s
    5. Creating a Quick Style set
      6m 24s
    6. Using the Navigation pane with styles
      3m 1s
    7. Easily creating a table of contents
      5m 32s
    8. Restricting formatting to a selection of styles
      4m 58s
    9. Creating a multilevel list using styles
      6m 53s
  8. 48m 1s
    1. Creating a table to organize text
      6m 11s
    2. Converting text to tables
      3m 36s
    3. Formatting tables for readability
      4m 8s
    4. Adding and removing columns
      5m 36s
    5. Sorting table data
      5m 19s
    6. Merging, splitting, and formatting cells to create a form
      8m 53s
    7. Converting a table to text
      2m 41s
    8. Inserting an Excel table for calculations and charts
      7m 18s
    9. Using Quick Tables
      4m 19s
  9. 1h 7m
    1. Illustrating documents with pictures, shapes, and clip art
      8m 43s
    2. Positioning, sizing, and cropping graphics
      6m 11s
    3. Wrapping text around graphics
      4m 54s
    4. Laying out text and graphics with a table
      6m 50s
    5. Adjusting brightness, contrast, and sharpness of photos
      4m 30s
    6. Applying special effects to graphics
      5m 4s
    7. Applying styles to graphics
      5m 40s
    8. Illustrating with charts: Inserting a chart from Excel
      8m 26s
    9. Illustrating with diagrams: Using SmartArt
      10m 22s
    10. Illustrating with screenshots: Capturing screenshots from your computer
      3m 17s
    11. Illustrating with WordArt
      3m 35s
  10. 34m 10s
    1. Understanding building blocks
      3m 41s
    2. Numbering pages and applying headers and footers
      6m 56s
    3. Adding cover pages and blank pages
      3m 50s
    4. Using text boxes for document design
      8m 16s
    5. Creating and saving custom headers and footers
      6m 21s
    6. Creating and saving Quick Parts
      5m 6s
  11. 23m 40s
    1. Setting page margins, page orientation, and paper size
      6m 30s
    2. Inserting sections to organize a document
      5m 17s
    3. Using columns
      5m 23s
    4. Using watermarks, page borders, and colors
      6m 30s
  12. 20m 15s
    1. Checking spelling and grammar
      5m 6s
    2. Setting proofing and AutoCorrect options
      7m 21s
    3. Using the Thesaurus and Research and Translation tools
      7m 48s
  13. 21m 3s
    1. Tracking changes and showing markup
      5m 29s
    2. Accepting and rejecting changes
      4m 35s
    3. Comparing and combining documents
      6m 42s
    4. Coauthoring documents with SharePoint
      4m 17s
  14. 40m 56s
    1. Trouble-free document sharing
      5m 38s
    2. Emailing a document
      4m 4s
    3. Saving a document to a Windows Live drive
      4m 8s
    4. Saving to SharePoint and sharing a document link
      3m 59s
    5. Using Word on the web
      3m 4s
    6. Blogging with a document
      4m 27s
    7. Finalizing and password-protecting a document
      3m 38s
    8. Restricting editing for all or part of a document
      6m 3s
    9. Digitally signing a document
      5m 55s
  15. 25m 18s
    1. Changing Word options
      5m 42s
    2. Customizing the Ribbon
      7m 22s
    3. Creating and playing a macro
      8m 8s
    4. Assigning a macro to the Ribbon
      4m 6s
  16. 31s
    1. Goodbye
      31s

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