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How to Terminate Columns in Word 2013

You can stop the multicolumn format and terminate columns in one of several ways in Word 2013. For a newspaper column, the newspaper can go under. For a Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian column, your civilization can collapse. For a column of text, however, Word offers a number of tricks, none of which involves bankruptcy or revolution.

How to go back to one column

The easiest way to undo a multicolumn document is to return it to a single column. It’s cinchy: From the Columns button on the Page Layout tab, choose the item One. It restores your document to single-column mode, which is how Word naturally creates documents.

When that doesn’t work, summon the Columns dialog box and choose One from the list of presets. Ensure that Whole Document is chosen from the Apply To menu and then click the OK button. The columns are gone.

  • In Word, you don’t “remove” column formatting as much as you choose the standard column format, One.

  • Removing columns from a document doesn’t remove sections or section breaks.

How to end multiple columns in the middle of a document

Say that you’re using multiple columns in a document when suddenly, and for good reason, you decide to switch back to single-column format. Here’s how:

  1. Place the insertion pointer wherever you want your columns to stop.

  2. Summon the Columns dialog box.

  3. In the Columns dialog box, choose One from the Presets area.

  4. From the Apply To drop-down list, select This Point Forward.

  5. Click OK.

    The columns stop, and regular, one-column text is restored.

When you work these steps, you place a continuous section break into your document. The multicolumn format is applied to the previous section, and the single (“One”) column format is applied after the section break.

A continuous section break doesn't contain a page break; the new column format can pick up in the middle of a page.

How to place a column break

When you want to continue using columns but want the text you're writing to start at the top of the next column, you need a column break.

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To create such a thing, heed these steps:

  1. Place the insertion pointer where you want your text to start at the top of the next column.

    For example, you might place it at the beginning of the word across.

  2. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, choose Breaks→Column.

    The text hops to the top of the next column.

Column breaks don't end columns; they merely split a column, ending text at a certain point on a page and starting the rest of the text at the top of the next column.

Use the Show/Hide command in the Home group (the Paragraph Mark button) to know where exactly to place the column break. You might want to insert the column break after a paragraph mark (¶) to have the columns line up at the top of the page.

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