How to Switch Columns in Word

In one of our previous articles, we showed you how to make columns in Word. Columns are used in legal documents, school tests, newspapers, books. People usually avoid writing in columns because it gets pretty hard to format the content inside the column and keep it neat. Another reason that people might avoid using columns in Word is the problem when switching columns. Usually the most obvious way to switch columns is to go to the bottom of the page, and that can be really frustrating. Although it seems quite impossible to do it in another way, this task can become your routine work when you repeat it a few times. It is always welcome to learn new computer skills especially when it comes to handling Microsoft Office documents. Moreover, on certain occasions writing in columns will be obligatory and better get used to it. So, here is a quick guide on how to switch columns in Word.

There are different ways to switch columns in Word

Press Alt+Page Down on the keyboard if you want to switch from current column to next column. Have in mind, this won’t work if next column is empty.

If you are in next column you can switch to the top of the previous column by pressing Alt+Page Up on your keyboard.

Another option to use is Ctrl+Shift+Enter to switch between columns in Word. That is also called “inserting a column break”. If you don’t like using keyboard shortcuts, go to Insert menu and then Break, and finally click on Column Break. If you cannot find this option, check Page Layout tab as well.

This last option can be used if you want to move to the next column when you finish the previous one. However, it is not convenient to use this option (insert column break) if you want to switch columns during your work.  In that case, the first option is the best.

Unfortunately, there is no option in Word to move to the exact text line in a particular column. The closest you can get is the top of the column and then you need to use your mouse of the keyboard arrows to get to the preferred place in the column.

To sum up, if you are done writing in one column, use this option with inserting a break to move to the next column. If you want to get back to previous columns use the first option mentioned above.