This tutorial shows how to create two-column and three-column lists in Microsoft Word. We will also look at how to reduce the space between the list columns. These steps are for bulleted lists and numbered lists.
Table of Contents
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The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365. This tutorial also applies to Word for Microsoft 365 for Mac (a.k.a., Word for Mac), Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013 (PC only).
How to Create Two-Column and Three-Column Lists
- (Optional) Select the Home tab in the ribbon and then select the Show/Hide button to reveal your formatting marks.
- If there is no text after the list, place your cursor at the end of the final item and then press the Enter key (PC) or Return key (Mac) to insert a paragraph break on the next line. (If there is text after the list, this step is not necessary.)
- Select the list. (Be careful not to select any of the surrounding text or formatting marks.)
- Select the Layout tab in the ribbon.
- Select the Columns button and then select Two or Three columns from the drop-down menu.
The list should now appear as two or three side-by-side lists.
- If you selected the Show/Hide button in step 1, return to the Home tab and reselect the Show/Hide button to hide your formatting marks (see figure 1).
If your new side-by-side lists look too far apart, you can use the ruler to reduce the space between the columns, as shown below.
How to Reduce the Space between List Columns
- If your ruler is not visible, select the View tab in the ribbon and then select Ruler in the Show group.
- Place your cursor inside one of the list columns.
- Hover your pointer over the left or right end of the white portion of the ruler. Your pointer should become a double-headed arrow.
- Slide the double-headed arrow toward the middle of the screen to drag your columns closer together.