Google Docs provides a simple way to create two column layouts for documents using the columns formatting option. This allows you to split text and images into multiple columns, making content easier to read and giving a more polished, professional look.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Benefits of using two column layouts
- How to create two columns in Google Docs
- Tips for formatting two column layouts
- How to align columns perfectly
- Adding images and other elements across columns
Table of Contents
Benefits of Two Column Layouts
There are several advantages to using two column document layouts:
- Improves readability – Shorter line lengths are easier to read than long lines spanning the whole page. Two columns make text more scannable.
- Better information hierarchy – You can use columns to separate different types of information. For example, main text in one column and supplementary details in a sidebar column.
- More space efficient – You can fit more text by using the full page width with columns.
- Visually appealing – The two column structure looks more stylish and is commonly used in print publications.
Using two column layouts can make your documents easier to read, while also making them look more professional.
How to Create Two Columns in Google Docs
Creating a two column layout in Google Docs is simple:
- Highlight the text you want to place into two columns. You can select all or just part of the text.
- On the toolbar, select Format > Columns.
- Choose Two columns from the dropdown menu.
The selected text will automatically flow into two columns.
If you want to apply columns to new text later in the document, position the cursor at the insertion point and repeat the formatting steps.
You can create up to three columns by selecting Three columns option instead. This works in the same way.
Formatting Tips for Two Column Layouts
When working with two column layouts, keep these formatting tips in mind:
- Use narrow column widths for optimal readability. Columns that are too wide can still be difficult to read.
- Be consistent with font styles and sizes across both columns. You generally want them to appear cohesive.
- Check alignments and spacing between columns. There should be even gaps between columns.
- Use distinct header styles to differentiate between columns where necessary.
- Keep related information together in columns. Avoid splitting content arbitrarily across columns.
- Use borders and lines sparingly to divide content within a column. Overusing lines can look too busy.
Thinking about column widths, fonts, and content grouping will help you create a clean, easy to follow two column layout.
How to Perfectly Align Columns
When inserting columns in Google Docs, they automatically snap into position, perfectly aligning the columns. However, you may need to make small adjustments to get spacing and alignments looking just right:
To adjust column spacing:
- Select the columns by clicking within the text.
- Right click and choose Table properties.
- Under Table tab, adjust Column spacing to increase or decrease gap width.
To align text vertically within columns:
- Select column text.
- Open the Vertical alignment dropdown on the toolbar.
- Choose Top, Middle or Bottom.
With these options you can fine tune alignments between columns for a clean, professional look.
Adding Images and Elements Across Columns
When using a two column layout, you may want to include images or other elements that span across both columns. There are a couple of ways to achieve this:
- Insert the image into either column.
- Right click the image and choose Text wrapping > Wrap text.
- The image will automatically span across columns.
- Insert a text box from the Insert menu.
- Drag text box corners to span across columns.
- Insert desired elements into the text box.
You can use these methods to add headings, images, tables or other elements that run across multiple columns.
Two column layouts offer lots of formatting flexibility within Google Docs while also improving readability and aesthetics. Correctly aligning columns and adding spanning elements takes a bit of practice but soon becomes second nature when creating multi-column documents.
Some key takeaways:
- Use columns for better hierarchy and readability
- Mind the details when formatting columns
- Align text and spacing between columns
- Wrap elements across columns where needed
With these tips you should now feel confident creating clean, professional two column layouts for your documents.