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Using columns in Google Docs is key for clear, readable documents. Columns are ideal for newsletters, reports, or brochures, columns help organize information. Columns can also function as a great organizational tool if you have certain sections of text that you want to stand out without using bold, italics, or some other highlight form.

The columns tool in Google Docs allows you to manage columns to elevate your documents. This feature serves several functions that you’ll learn about below, along with the few steps you need to follow to do it yourself.

Step-by-Step: Adding Columns to Your Google Docs

Here are the steps for formatting your desired text into columns.

Step One: Drafting and Highlighting

  • To start formatting text in Google Docs columns, start by creating a new document from the Google Drive homepage and begin drafting your content in the document.
  • Once you have your content drafted, decide what section of text you want to make a column for. If you highlight no text, then all the text in the document will be put into however many columns you make, so keep this in mind if you are trying to put a specific section of text into a column.

Step Two: How to Make Columns in Google Docs

The next step in setting up columns in Google Docs is formatting.

  • After drafting your content and deciding what parts you want to put into a column, proceed to the toolbar at the top of the page where the functions are listed (not to be confused with the ‘Tools’ function). Click on the word ‘Format’ and go down to Columns.
  • Here you will see three unique column options. From left to right, the first option is for one column, the second is for two columns, and the third is for three columns. By default, every Google Doc is set to one column, so when it comes to how to make two columns in Google Docs, simply click on the second option.
  • Similarly, for how to make three columns in Google Docs, click the third option.
  • Upon choosing two or three columns, you will see the text you selected in your Google Doc shift, and the spacing of the paragraphs will automatically adjust to match the new number of columns. This automatic formatting is one of the significant upsides to creating columns on a Google Docs page, as you will not need to do any adjusting yourself to ensure the spacing on your paragraphs remains neat and clean.

Step Three: Further Options

In addition to the standard three options for creating columns in Google Docs, more extensive options give you the ability to further finetune your columns to your liking.

  • Follow the above steps to access the Columns option in the ‘Format’ tool to access these options. This time, instead of selecting one of the three standard column options, go to the ‘More options’ setting directly beneath them.
  • Clicking on ‘More options’ will bring up a new menu containing three settings that should be listed in the following order: Number of columns, Spacing (inches), and Line between columns.
    • Number of Columns: The ‘number of columns’ option is essentially the same option you are first presented with when selecting the Columns option from the ‘Format’ tool’s dropdown list. You can choose between one, two, and three columns, respectively.
    • Spacing (Inches): The Spacing (inches) option allows you to manually adjust the number of inches (from right to left) between each column. 0.5 inches is the default setting, and Google Docs will reset to this each time you change the number of columns unless you manually set the spacing each time.
    • Line Between Columns: Selecting the Line between columns option will create a single line between each column, making it easier to distinguish one column from another at a glance. This feature does not affect the spacing between columns, as the lines stay set in a predetermined spot on the pages regardless of how far apart or close together each column is.

How to Make Two Columns of Bullets

  • First, add bullets to your text using the bulleted list option in the toolbar.
  • Then, follow the same steps mentioned earlier to format your text into two columns.

To make two columns of bullets in Google Docs, follow the same above steps, but this time you must create the bullets before you carry out those steps.

To add bullets to a piece of text, go to the bulleted list option positioned on the right side of the Google Docs toolbar. The icon you are looking for will have three small dots sitting parallel to three small lines, and directly beside that is a small downwards facing arrow.

You can add the default bullets to a piece of highlighted text by clicking on the icon of the three small dots and three small lines, or you can click the arrow to bring down six more bullet options, as well as a checklist option.

After adding the bullets, follow the same three steps from above to create your two columns with whatever specific spacing you desire. Once again, you’ll find that there won’t be any need for manual formatting, as Google Docs will automatically account for the bullets and adjust the spacing of the columns accordingly to give the cleanest possible look.

How to Switch Between Columns

No matter how many columns you have, if you want to switch between them, you simply have to go to the Columns option and change to the number you want. You do not need to reset or delete any of your already drafted content.

Just remember that Google Docs will automatically reset the spacing of your columns to 0.5 inches, so you will need to set the spacing manually if you had it changed to something else.

How to Delete Columns in Google Docs

You cannot actually delete columns in Google Docs. By default, there is always one column, so if you created two or three columns and want to get rid of them, all you have to do is go to the columns option and choose one column.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to add columns in Google Docs?

To add columns in Google Docs, navigate to “Format” > “Columns” and select the number of columns you need. For precise control, use “More options” to adjust the column width and spacing to your preference.

How to make two columns in Google Docs?

Adjusting Google Docs column layout to create two columns in Google Docs is straightforward. Click “Format,” choose “Columns,” then the two-column icon. If you need columns for a specific section, use a section break from the “Insert” menu before formatting.

How to adjust Google Docs columns?

Adjusting Google Docs columns is done through “Format” > “Columns” > “More options.” Here you can modify column count, spacing, and add a dividing line for clarity.

How to format text in columns in Google Docs?

To format text in columns, highlight the text, select “Format,” go to “Columns,” then pick the layout you want. For complex formatting, use the “More options” in the columns menu.

How to delete columns in Google Docs?

Deleting columns in Google Docs is simply a matter of selecting “Format,” then “Columns,” and choosing “One column” to revert back to standard single-column text.

How to create columns on a single page in Google Docs?

To create columns on just one page, insert a section break where you want columns to start, then select “Format” > “Columns” and choose your desired column format.

How to work with columns in Google Docs without affecting the entire document?

Work with columns in parts of your document by highlighting the text to columnize, then selecting “Format” > “Columns” and the format you want, which will apply only to your selected text.

How to make uneven columns in Google Docs?

Google Docs doesn’t natively support uneven columns, but you can simulate this by creating a table with different cell widths or by manually setting column breaks and spacing.

How do I switch between columns in Google Docs?

To switch between columns, go to the “Columns” option and select the desired number of columns. You don’t need to reset or delete existing content. Note that Google Docs may reset the spacing between columns to the default 0.5 inches.

Can I delete columns?

You cannot delete columns in Google Docs. However, you can switch back to one column to remove the additional columns you’ve created. Keep in mind that Google Docs always starts with one column by default.

What is the benefit of using columns in Google Docs?

Using columns in Google Docs can help organize your content, create visually appealing layouts, and improve readability. It’s a useful feature for various document types, including newsletters, brochures, and reports.

Can I adjust the spacing between columns?

Yes, you can manually adjust the spacing between columns by using the “Spacing (inches)” option in the “More options” menu. This allows you to control the distance between columns according to your preference.

How can I add lines between columns for better differentiation?

You can add lines between columns by selecting the “Line between columns” option in the “More options” menu. This feature makes it easier to distinguish one column from another visually.

Are there any limitations to using columns?

While columns are a valuable formatting tool, it’s important to note that you cannot delete individual columns. Google Docs starts with one column by default, and you can switch between one, two, or three columns but cannot delete them individually.


Now you know how to create columns in Google Docs, be it two or three columns, and how to combine columns with bullets seamlessly! Regularly utilizing columns in your work can significantly help break up the monotony of reading lengthy walls of text with little to no visual variation, and improve your document workflow.

To further your knowledge and improve your technical skills with Google Docs and Microsoft Word, check out this quick guide on How to Find and Replace in Word & Google Docs!

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