How to Create and Format Two Columns in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Introduction to Google Docs and Document Formatting

Google Docs is a widely used online word-processing platform. It offers functionality and flexibility for creating various types of documents, including reports, essays, articles, and more, accessible across a multitude of devices. The array of formatting options allows users to present their content in a well-structured and reader-friendly manner. A crucial aspect of formatting is the column layout that helps in setting up the document structure per the content type or user preference.

Understanding Columns in Google Docs

Columns are vertical blocks within a document used to segregate and format content. They are an invaluable tool in giving your document an aesthetic and organized touch. The use of columns aids in creating visually appealing sections of data, enhances readability, and ensures efficient use of space, especially in text-heavy documents. It’s an essential formatting tool for newsletters, brochures, academic papers, or newspapers where data presentation is principal.

Steps to Create Two Columns in Google Docs

To start, open a blank document in Google Docs. Navigate to Format in the menu bar, select Columns and then Two. This action will divide your document into two equal columns. Including visual aids such as screenshots can guide users through the process, helping them visualize each step accurately.

Formatting Two Columns in Google Docs

After creating two columns, you can customise their width and spacing to suit your content and preferences. Navigate to Format, select Columns, then More options. Here you can adjust column width, spacing and even add a line between columns. Properly configuring these options enhances the overall appeal of the document.

Adding Text to Two Columns in Google Docs

Adding text to two columns in Google Docs is nothing different from the regular text entry. Begin typing in the left column, and text will automatically flow into the right column once the left one fills up. It’s worth noting that text formatting options like font size, style, and color are still applicable.

Working with Images/Charts in Two Columns

Adding images or charts into the columns is straightforward. Click at the point where you want to insert the image or chart, navigate to the Insert menu, and select Image or Chart respectively. Resizing and positioning can be done by dragging the edges of the element, while layout options are accessible via right-click.

Challenges and Troubleshooting With Two Columns in Google Docs

Users may encounter issues with formatting, text alignment, or inserting images and charts. Most problems can be resolved by navigating through the Format menu for page setup or paragraph styles, or repositioning inserted elements. If the problems persist, consider seeking help from Google Docs’ Help Center and user-community forums.

Alternatives to Using Two Columns in Google Docs

Sometimes, the column feature might not be suitable for your purpose, and in that case, tables could serve as a good alternative to structure your document. Tables provide significant customization options and offer a structured way of presenting data. You can navigate to Insert, select Table, and define the number of columns and rows.

Advantages of Using Two Columns in Google Docs

Two columns in Google Docs are handy when creating newsletters, brochures, or newspapers as they offer better space management, aesthetic appeal, and easy readability. Real-world examples include academic papers, where two-column formatting effectively segregates different sections, and business reports where it presents data in a compact and organized manner.


Whether you are drafting an attractive newsletter, crafting an academic paper, or presenting a business report, using two columns in Google Docs can greatly improve document aesthetics and readability. While it requires understanding and practice, with this guide, you have all the necessary knowledge to start leveraging this useful tool effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What are the main uses of creating two columns in Google Docs?

Using two column format aids in preserving space, enhancing aesthetics and improving readability. It’s widely used in creating newsletters, brochures and academic papers.

How does one add text or images to the columns?

You can add text and images into columns just like a normal document. Text and Images can be added through the regular ‘Insert’ menu.

How to troubleshoot common problems with two columns in Google Docs?

Most common problems can be resolved by navigating through the ‘Format’ menu for page setup or paragraph styles. Google Docs’ Help Center and community forums provide further assistance if required.

Can I customise the size and spacing in Google Docs’ two column formatting?

Yes, Google Docs allows you to customise the size and spacing of columns by accessing ‘More options’ under the ‘Columns’ setting.

Are there any alternatives to using two columns in Google Docs?

Yes, tables can serve as a good alternative to the use of columns by providing a structured way to present complex information.