PowerPoint 2007: How To Create Text Columns

Posted January 5, 2007 by Rob Rogers in Microsoft Powerpoint

PowerPoint now allows you to create text columns within a text box, letting you change a long list of text into two or more columns. To do this . . .

1. Select the desired text box.

2. Click the Home tab.

3. Go to the Paragraphs section.

4. Click the Columns button (next to the text alignment buttons).

5. Select either One, Two, Three, or More Columns.

To adjust the column spacing, click the Columns button and select More Columns. Change the value in the Spacing textbox and click OK.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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  • Tim

    For some reason two and three are grayed out. Any ideas why? Thanks.

    • suzan

      Did you select your text first?

  • Colin

    This is probably too late for Tim, but I found this page while trying to understand why I had no option to create more than 1 column in PowerPoint 2007. Here’s what worked for me…

    1. I made the text box too small to fit text.
    2. I selected all text in text box.
    3. This caused the “Stop fitting text to placeholder” box to appear on the left of the text box.
    4. Use the drop-down arrow and the last option is “Split into 2 columns”

    Hope that helps someone.

    • Me

      Thanks, Colin. That helped me!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Buddy!!! This worked out excellent!!! Actually, I’m trying for this option for more than 24 hrs. Great!!!

  • Julian

    This did not work, I couldnt select two columns it was not active whatever I tried..

  • julian

    Wait, I think it might have something to do with the fact that you need to have enough text in the text box that it will actually fit into two columns – I did the two columns thing and nothing happened until I kept typing but it seemed to work for lists and nothing else.. I dunno, I’m meant to be doing it for some assignment and its driving me nuts lol

    • Ryan

      If you originally created your powerpoint file with office 2003, but are now using 2007, then the file will be operating in compatibility mode, which essentially means it won’t allow you to do things that won’t work if you want to open it in the old powerpoint again. Go to Save As and choose to save a new version of the file as a 2007 powerpoint file. That should make it so the column options aren’t grayed out anymore. Hope that helps.

  • Anonymous

    how to made a text box too small to fit the text?

  • leah

    How do you create 2 columns in PowerPoint 2007in a text box? I tried everything and I even went to Help and it said the same thing: select the txt box, go to Home tab, then to paragraph and then click 2 columns- nothing happened. Could someone help me?

  • christoph

    Do what Ryan suggested. You don’t need to mess with anything else. As soon as the presentation is saved in the .pptx format, the column functionality becomes available.

  • http://www.lazerucretleri.com lazer fiyatlari

    This did not work, help plz..

  • Selva


    To Split text box into two boxes,
    1) enter text into text box
    2) Then Go to Home Tab—-> Then Paragraph, then click on triangle button in the column button(which is the fifth button on second row on paragraph tab), there you can find specify the number of columns to divide.

    The next way, which colin suggested will not work on normal text boxes, it will work only on place holders(you can get this by applying the Title and content layout) then minimize the textbox holder size and then select the text, there you can find the option to split the box.

  • Rebecca

    thank you very much Selva that worked 🙂 was starting to get frustrated

  • Lewis

    Saving as a pptx did the trick! Thanks.

  • Wang

    Does not work. Created new next box. Typed a column of numbers. Click the Home tab. Went to the Paragraphs section.Clicked the Columns button. Selected Two Columns. Nothing happened. Tried selecting text first – didn’t work. Tried selecting entire box – didn’t work.Saved file as pptx file – didn’t help.Any clues?

  • Wang

    Just figured it out. Need to shrink the text box after telling it to create columns.If the box is longer than the column of text, it stays as a single column. Hope this helps someone.

  • Heinz

    Any chance to specify the number of coulmns in textboxes in c#?

  • Talha

    Work great ! Thanks a lot @Colin,
    It is simple
    1. Made text box small
    2. An icon appear on left side of the text box
    3. Click on that arrow head icon, different options appear
    4. Select change to two column 😀