Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Sunday, April 5, 2015 at 01:36

I will show you how to easily create and modify columns in Writer. I will give you direct examples and explanations. Then you can follow it and apply it on your document.

Types of Columns

Firstly, you should know the types of columns. There are generally 2 types of columns based on the vertical position. First, partial column in single page. It means some parts are columned and other parts are not in a single page. Second, whole parts columned. It means no part is different. See picture below to differ it.

As you can see, the advantage of using the first column model is to create first page of paper or any scientific document. And you can make more then one column per page. You may split your document into 2 or 3 or more columns.

Create Two Columns

In Writer, to make column you need to open menu Format > Columns. This is the Columns Manager window. In columns creating, you should choose whether create it befor or after. Create it before means you create the column before the text. Create it after means you create the columns after the text. I will show you how to create the second one.

Firstly, select the whole text you want to split.

Second, open Columns Manager in menu Format > Columns > type number 2 in the Columns box > specify the white space between column in Spacing box > press OK.
Create Two Columns and Set Spacing

Third, you will see the result. Your whole text (selected text) will be split up into two columns.

Two Columns with Title in Left Column

Create Two Columns Excluding The Title

It is same with before. You just need to select all text except the title.

Two Columns with Single Centered Title

You get your document slit up by two columns except the unselected text. In this case, the title.

Create Two Asymmetric Columns

In the examples above, you see only symmetrical columns. How to create the asymmetric ones? You just need to set them in Columns Manager. Select the column icon which has asymmetric form. Then specify the size of every column below it. Or you can just leave it default.

Asymmetric Width Columns

The Result

The result is you get your text split up into 2 column but the left column is wider than the right column. If you choose the another one, you get flipped columns width like this.

Insert Separator Line Between Columns

In the Columns Manager, specify the separator line in the Separator section. You can choose the line style (dotted or straight), color, height, and width. But before that, you should set Space between columns. I give you example Space = 0.40, Line Style: dotted, Width = 0.25, and Color = Black. See picture below.  

Set Separator Line


If you format the columns frequently, you will need shortcut key to open it directly without clicking. Set it at menu Tools > Customize > tab Keyboard > see Category and select Format > see Function: and select Columns > look above and select one shortcut preset e.g.Ctrl+Insert > click Modify button > the shortcut Ctrl+Insert will appear in the Keys box > press OK. Now you can access Columns Manager quickly by pressing Ctrl+Insert. See picture below and follow the annotation numbers.