How to Make Columns in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating columns in Google Docs is a straightforward process. First, open your document and click on the “Format” tab, then select “Columns” and choose the number of columns you want. You can also customize the spacing between columns by clicking on “More options.” After setting up your columns, the text will automatically flow from one column to the next as you type or paste content.

Once you have made columns in your Google Docs document, the text will be divided evenly across the number of columns you have chosen. This can help organize your information and give your document a polished, professional look.


When working with text documents, sometimes you need to step up your formatting game to make your work stand out or to present the information in a clearer, more digestible manner. That’s where the nifty column feature in Google Docs comes into play. Whether you’re creating a newsletter, a brochure, or simply trying to give your document a newspaper-like aesthetic, knowing how to add and manipulate columns is key.

But why are columns so important? They’re not just for aesthetics; they help manage space efficiently, guide the reader’s eye, and can even affect the way information is processed. In a world where the presentation can be just as important as the content itself, mastering columns can be a game-changer. So, who needs to know this? Pretty much anyone who uses Google Docs for more than just plain text typing – students, professionals, and casual users alike.

Related: How to Delete a Column in Google Docs (An Easy 4 Step Guide)

Step by Step Tutorial: Making Columns in Google Docs

This section will guide you through the process of creating columns in your Google Docs document.

Step 1: Open the Format Menu

Start by opening the “Format” menu in the top toolbar.

In the Format menu, you’ll find a variety of options to style your document. For columns, you’ll want to locate the “Columns” option, which is generally found about halfway down the list.

Step 2: Select the Number of Columns

Click “Columns” and then choose the number of columns you want.

Google Docs provides a few preset column options, usually one, two, or three columns. Simply click on the icon that represents the layout you want your document to have.

Step 3: Customize Your Columns (Optional)

For more control, click “More options” to customize column width and spacing.

If you’re not satisfied with the presets, “More options” allows you to adjust the width of each column and the spacing between them. This is useful for creating a more customized look or for accommodating images and other elements.


Organized TextColumns help to organize text into more manageable chunks, making it easier for readers to follow and digest the information.
Professional LookDocuments with columns often look more polished and professional, giving an edge to presentations, newsletters, and other written materials.
Space ManagementUsing columns can help utilize space more efficiently, especially in documents that include images or other multimedia elements.

Columns can be a real lifesaver when you’re dealing with a lot of text. By dividing the text into sections, it makes the document less daunting and more approachable for the reader. This is particularly useful for instructional materials, reports, or articles that need to be read in-depth.

A document with well-formatted columns gives off a professional vibe. It shows that you’ve put thought into the layout and presentation, which can be just as important as the content itself. This is particularly true for printed materials that need to make a good first impression.

Managing space in a document can be tricky, particularly when you’re including various elements like text, images, and charts. Columns help you to arrange these in a way that’s visually appealing and logical, which is crucial for maintaining the reader’s attention and ensuring they don’t miss any key information.


Text Flow IssuesSometimes text may not flow smoothly from one column to another, which can disrupt the reader’s experience.
Limited CustomizationGoogle Docs offers limited column customization options compared to other word processors, which can be restrictive for more complex layouts.
Learning CurveFor users new to document formatting, learning to effectively use columns can take some time and practice.

When text doesn’t flow well between columns, it can create awkward page breaks or leave large gaps of white space. This can be jarring for the reader and can interrupt the overall flow of the document.

While Google Docs is a powerful tool, it doesn’t offer the same level of column customization as some desktop publishing programs or even other word processors. This can be frustrating for users looking to create more intricate layouts or who need more control over their document’s design.

For those not accustomed to working with document layouts, adding and managing columns might not be immediately intuitive. It can take a bit of experimenting to get things looking just right, which might deter some users from utilizing this feature.

Additional Information

When making columns in Google Docs, there are a few extra tips to keep in mind. For instance, did you know you can add a line between your columns to make them stand out more? Simply click on “More options” and check the box that says “Line between columns.” Voila! Instant clarity.

Another handy trick is to use column breaks to control exactly where your text starts in a new column. This can be crucial for keeping headings with the corresponding text or for starting a new section on a fresh column. And remember, if you ever need to revert back to a single column, it’s as easy as going back into the Format menu and selecting one column.

Lastly, don’t forget that columns in Google Docs are dynamic. If you edit the text, add images, or adjust the size of your document, the columns will automatically adjust to accommodate these changes. That’s the beauty of Google Docs – it’s designed to make formatting your documents as painless as possible.


  1. Open the Format menu.
  2. Select the desired number of columns.
  3. Customize column width and spacing (optional).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add more than three columns in Google Docs?

While the default column options in Google Docs allow for up to three columns, you can create more by adjusting the column width in the “More options” menu.

Is it possible to have different numbers of columns on the same page?

No, Google Docs applies the column formatting uniformly to the entire page. However, you can use section breaks to create different column layouts on separate pages.

How do I undo column formatting?

To undo column formatting, simply go back to the “Format” menu, click “Columns,” and select one column. This will return your document to a single-column layout.

Can I add a column break in Google Docs?

Yes, you can insert a column break by placing your cursor where you want the new column to begin, going to the “Insert” menu, and selecting “Break” followed by “Column break.”

Will my columns appear the same on different devices?

Yes, Google Docs is designed to maintain formatting across devices, so your columns should appear the same regardless of where you or others access the document.


Making columns in Google Docs is a fantastic way to organize your document and give it that professional edge. With just a few simple clicks, you can transform a bland wall of text into an easily navigable and visually appealing masterpiece. Whether you’re a student, a business professional, or just someone looking to improve your document formatting skills, adding columns is a versatile tool that can elevate your Google Docs experience.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t hesitate to play around with the column options, spacing, and breaks to get a feel for what works best for your documents. And hey, if you ever get stuck or need some creative inspiration, the world of Google Docs users is vast and full of forums, guides, and communities eager to help you out. Happy formatting!

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