Get Shift Done: Tips and Tricks
Plain Jane documents look boring, especially when they are made up of long blocky paragraphs of text, like this.
But formatting your document with newsletter-like columns generates visual energy that attracts and holds your readers’ attention.
Happily, columns are easy to create in most word processors. Here’s how to do it in Google Docs.
At the most basic, you can format your entire document (including the title and headlines) as columns by doing the following:
- Click on
Formatin the menu bar at the top of the screen
- Click on
Columnsin the pulldown menu that opens up.
- Then click to select either the 2-column or 3-column thumbnail.
Here’s what your document looks like, if you selected the 2-column thumbnail.
However, most newsletters have a title or headline at the top of the page that spans the entire width of the document, with text columns below it. To achieve that look, select the text block you want to format as columns:
- Place your cursor at the beginning of the text block.
- Hold your mouse button down and drag the cursor to the end of that text block, releasing the button only when you see all the text highlighted in blue.
When you use the
Format/Columns command with the 2-column option on selected text, you get a document that looks like this:
Or you might want to click on the thumbnail for the 3-column option to create something like this:
To refine your column formatting, click on
In the window that opens, in addition to choosing the number of columns (1, 2, or 3), you can:
- Designate the size of the space between columns (in inches). We created a 0.2 inch space.
- Add a line between columns, which we accomplish by clicking to put a checkmark in the box.
And this is our result:
However, we can do a couple more things to make the document look even better.
- Remove the tab indents for the paragraphs. Put the cursor at the beginning of each paragraph and tap your keyboard’s Backspace key.
- Add pictures and wrap text around them.
Now you have a document that is more likely to catch your readers’ interest — long enough for them to read it through.
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