Word: Columns and Spacing


For accessibility, do not use text boxes. Additionally, for images, don't remove them from the document flow by making them in front of or behind the text. When you want text next to your image:

  1. Select the text and the image.
  2. On the Layout tab of the ribbon, select the Columns dropdown.
  3. Select 2 or more depending on how you want your layout to look.

Tip: Clicking “More Columns” on the Columns dropdown menu will give you a window with options to change the spacing between columns.


Space Between Paragraphs

Instead of using the enter key to create extra space in between paragraphs, control the margin above and below with the paragraph format in Word.

Sometimes you want more space between your paragraphs or between your heading and a paragraph. Do not use the enter/return key to create empty spaces. This can be confusing for screenreaders. Instead, use the Paragraph editor.

Space can be applied to the style so that extra space is added to all instances of that style, or you can add it to a single paragraph, header, etc.

Modify the Style

To make consistent space between all of your paragraphs, for example, modify the Normal style.

  1. Right click the style in the styles in the ribbon, or use the dropdown menu in the styles pane, and select Modify style.
  2. In the bottom left corner, use the “Format” dropdown to choose paragraph.

Styles > Right Click > Modify


Format > Paragraph

Modify style pane.

To alter the spacing on one paragraph or heading, right click on the text and select Paragraph.

Right click in text > Paragraph

Right click menu.

On the “Indents and Spacing” tab of the Paragraph window, in the Spacing section, adjust the amount of space before and/or after you paragraph.

Indents and spacing pane.