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How to Create Columns, Lists, and Text Boxes in Word 2008 for Mac

In Word 2008 for Mac, you can format text in your documents in columns, lists, and text boxes. Columns let you display your text in multiple newspaper-like columns, instead of a single 6-inch wide block. Lists are numbered or bulleted lists that Word formats automatically. Text boxes let you put independent blocks of text anywhere on the page without having to bother with margins, indents, columns, or tables first.

  • Columns: The easiest way to create a document with multiple columns is to click the Columns button on the Standard toolbar and select the number of columns you want.

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    If you select part of the document before you use the Columns button, only that part is displayed as columns; if you don’t select any text before you use the Columns button, the entire document is displayed as columns.

    For finer control over the number and spacing of your columns, or to have Word place a vertical line between them, choose Format→Columns to open the Columns dialog.

  • Lists: Numbered lists are typically used for presenting information that requires a chronological order, such as how-to steps; bulleted lists organize a set of separate but related concepts. To add a list, select the text you want to turn into a list. Choose View→Formatting Palette and then click the disclosure triangle to expand the Bullets and Numbering panel. Click the Bullets or Numbering button to turn the selected text into a list.

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  • Text boxes: Text boxes let you place a chunk of text somewhere on a page without setting margins, indents, columns, or tables. To place a text box in your document, choose Insert→Text Box. Your cursor turns into a special text box placing cursor. Then click and drag in the document where you want the text box to appear.

    To control the way text in your document interacts with your text box — known as wrapping — choose View→Formatting Palette and click the right-pointing arrows next to Wrapping and then next to Text Box to disclose both the Wrapping and Text Box panels.

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