IN THIS CHAPTER
Columns versus alternatives
Changing column formatting
Using section breaks with columns
Using columns without section breaks
We've already looked briefly at columns in Chapter 25, "Page Setup and Sections." This chapter takes a closer look and provides you with the information you need to decide whether your document actually needs columns—and if so, how many, what kind, and so on.
At the outset, we need to be clear regarding what we're talking about when we say columns. Tables have columns, but that's not what we're talking about here. Tables are discussed in full in Chapter 17, "Tables." You can also create the appearance of columns by setting up tabs. That's not what this chapter is about, either. Tabs are discussed in Chapter 8, "Paragraph Formatting."
In this chapter, column formatting refers to dividing the text so that it flows in columns across the page, as shown in Figure 27.1. This kind of formatting sometimes is called newspaper columns or snaking columns, and is a common format used in journals, newsletters, and magazines, although it's unlikely that those publications use Word's columns feature to accomplish their columnar formatting. Such publications likely use page layout programs because of the precise way in which text, graphics, and advertising are used.
Why use columns? If you've ever analyzed the way you read or if you've ever taken a speed-reading course, you already know the answer. We use columns because they're easier and faster ...