Use a Column Break in Word to Easily Move Text to Another Column

Have you ever been typing away in Microsoft Word, only to realize that you want your text to move to the next column over? It’s a common issue, but luckily, it’s an easy fix with the use of a column break. In less than a minute, you can shift your text and keep on typing without missing a beat.

Step by Step Tutorial: Use a Column Break in Word

Before we dive into the step by step, let’s talk about what we’re aiming to do here. We’re going to insert a column break in your Word document, which will move your text to the top of the next column, just like magic!

Step 1: Place your cursor where you want the column break

First things first, you need to decide where you want your text to jump to the next column. Click your mouse at that spot to place your cursor there.

Placing your cursor in the right spot is crucial because this is where the text will split. Make sure you’re not in the middle of a sentence or word. It’s best to put it at the end of a paragraph or section.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Layout’ or ‘Page Layout’ tab

Now, take a look at the top of your Word document. You’ll see a bunch of tabs like ‘File,’ ‘Home,’ and ‘Insert.’ Click on the one that says ‘Layout’ or sometimes it’s called ‘Page Layout.’

This is where you’ll find all the options for messing around with your page setup, including our friend, the column break.

Step 3: Click on ‘Breaks’

In the ‘Layout’ tab, there’s a whole bunch of stuff, but we’re only interested in one thing right now: ‘Breaks.’ Give that a click.

When you click on ‘Breaks,’ a dropdown menu will appear with a bunch of different types of breaks. It might seem overwhelming, but don’t worry, we’re only looking for one.

Step 4: Select ‘Column’ from the list

In the dropdown menu under ‘Breaks,’ you’ll see page breaks, section breaks, and what we’re after: column breaks. Click on ‘Column.’

And just like that, your text will jump right to the top of the next column. It’s like a little text teleportation device!

After you complete this action, you’ll see that your text has moved to the next column, starting at the top. This can help you organize your document and make it look super professional. Plus, if you’re working with a newsletter or a magazine-style layout, column breaks are a must-know trick.

Tips: Mastering the Column Break in Word

  • Always save your work before messing around with the layout. You never know when you might need to undo something!
  • Use column breaks instead of hitting ‘Enter’ a bunch of times to move to the next column. It’s cleaner and more professional.
  • If you decide you don’t want the column break, just hit ‘Undo’ or press ‘Ctrl + Z’ to get rid of it.
  • Remember that column breaks only work if you’ve already set up columns in your document. If you haven’t, do that first!
  • Practice makes perfect. Play around with column breaks until you feel comfortable with them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between a column break and a page break?

A column break moves your text to the next column, while a page break moves your text to the next page. They’re similar, but they affect your document in different ways.

Can I use column breaks in a single-column document?

Nope, column breaks only work if you’ve set up your document with multiple columns. Otherwise, there’s nowhere for your text to go!

Will a column break mess up my formatting?

It shouldn’t, as long as you’ve placed your cursor in the right spot. If you’re worried, save your work before you insert the break.

Can I delete a column break if I change my mind?

Absolutely! Just click right before the break and hit the ‘Delete’ key, or right after the break and hit ‘Backspace.’

How many column breaks can I insert in a document?

As many as you want! There’s no limit to the number of column breaks you can have in a Word document.


  1. Place your cursor where you want the column break.
  2. Go to the ‘Layout’ or ‘Page Layout’ tab.
  3. Click on ‘Breaks.’
  4. Select ‘Column’ from the list.


Using a column break in Word is a nifty little trick that can make your documents look polished and professional. It’s perfect for newsletters, brochures, or any other layout that uses columns. Remember, the key is to place your cursor in the right spot before you insert the break. Then, it’s as simple as four clicks, and your text has leaped over to the next column, neat and tidy. With a bit of practice, you’ll be a column break pro in no time. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch your Word documents transform before your eyes!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy