Microsoft KB Archive/49819

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Word: Side-By-Side Paragraphs in Word 4.0 and 5.0

PSS ID Number: Q49819 Article last modified on 07-09-1998


The information in this article applies to:

  • == Microsoft Word for the Macintosh, versions 3.0 , 3.01, 3.02, 4.0 ==


What Are Side-by-Side Paragraphs?

The side-by-side paragraph feature is used to create multiple columns of uneven widths and lengths, place text beside graphics, or overlay text and graphics. In Word, side-by-side paragraphs are different from newspaper, or snaking, columns.

When you are using newspaper columns (snaking columns), the text fills one column and continues at the top of the next column. When you are using side- by-side paragraphs, paragraphs are matched side-by-side to show relationships. You specify which paragraphs belong beside each other by applying the appropriate indents and side-by-side formatting to each set of paragraphs.

Examples of Side-by-Side Paragraphs


                    Ross Manufacturing Company
                      Preferred Customer Plan
 Featuring                       Your Benefits
 Bulk-volume discounts, with     Price savings (40-60%) with
 rebates based on annual         built-in rebates. You pay
 volumes (at wholesale           less per item when you
 prices).                        order more.

 Custom-designed fittings        Unique fittings for your
 for corrosive and high-         customers within two weeks
 pressure fluids.                after we receive the order;
                                 a maintenance contract is

                              R sum :

 Work Experience                 John s Restaurant, dinner

                                 U.S. Postal Service, mail

 Education                       Fairmore Senior High
                                 School.  Graduated with

                                 University of Arizona.
                                 B.S. in American history.

For another example of side-by-side paragraphs, see page 3 of this
                         application note.

           Creating Side-by-Side Paragraphs in Word 3.x

 To create side-by-side paragraphs in Word 3.x, do the following:
  1. Type the information that is to appear in the side-by-side paragraph format.
    1. Select the paragraph(s) that is to appear on the left side. 3. From the Format menu, choose Show Ruler.
  2. Move the right-indent triangle on the ruler to 2.5 inches. (This can be varied.) 5. From the Format menu, choose Paragraph. 6. Select the Side-By-Side box. 7. Click OK and return to the document.
    1. Select the paragraph(s) that is to appear on the right side.
  3. Move the left-indent triangle on the ruler to 3.5 inches. (This can also be varied.) 10. From the Format menu, choose Paragraph. 11. Select the Side-By-Side box. 12. Click OK to return to the document.
  4. When you return to the document, the paragraphs will not appear to be in the side-by-side form.

To view the paragraphs in side-by-side format, choose Page Preview from the File menu, or print the file.

The above procedure arranges the paragraphs in two columns. The left column extends from 0 to 2.5 inches and the right column extends from 3.5 to 6 inches (depending on the margins specified in Page Setup).

With this method, paragraphs can be placed in any number of columns by adjusting the ruler indents for the various paragraphs to the appropriate positions. To set up the side-by-side paragraphs, determine the number of columns, the width of the columns, and the space you want between the columns.

To make sure there is enough room on your page for the columns and the space between them, don t forget to take your margins (found in Page Setup) into consideration. For example, if you are using 8.5-inch-wide paper with the left and right margins set at 1.25 inches, this leaves 6 inches of workable space on the page. The amount of workable space is indicated on the ruler with a dotted vertical line. In this example, you could set up a page with two columns, each 2.5 inches wide, with 1 inch of space between them, or you could set up three columns, each 1.75 inches wide, with .375 inch of space between them.

           Creating Side-by-Side Paragraphs in Word 4.0

While in full menus, you can use Word s tables feature to create side-by- side paragraphs, as follows:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want to create the columns of side-by-side paragraphs. 2. From the Document menu, choose Insert Table.
  2. Enter the number of columns and rows you want to create (you can add or subtract more columns and rows as needed). 4. Click OK to return to the document.
  3. Type the information that is to appear in side-by-side paragraph format in the appropriate cells, pressing tab to move to the next cell. Information that is entered in these cells will automatically wrap to the next line when it reaches the right cell boundary.

The above procedure is only one method of getting text to appear in side-by- side format in Word 4.00. If you prefer, you can use the Word 3.x method to create side-by-side paragraphs. In Word 4.00, you can access the Side By Side command by choosing Commands from the Edit menu. To apply the Side By Side command, either select it in the Commands list box and apply it directly to the selected paragraphs by clicking the Do button, or add it to the Format menu. If you use this method instead of using a table, follow the steps for creating side-by-side paragraphs in Word 3.x as described in the preceding section. (Note: Instead of selecting the Side-By-Side check box, either open the Commands dialog box and select Side By Side and click the Do button, or choose Side By Side from the Format menu.)

                    Converting Text to a Table

If you are importing a document from an older version of Word that contains side-by-side paragraphs, tab-delimited text, or comma-delimited text, or if you want to place some paragraphs in a table, do the following to convert the text to a table:

 1. Highlight the paragraph or paragraphs to be placed in a table.

          2. From the Document menu, choose Insert Table.
  1. Select the appropriate Convert From option (Paragraphs, Tab Delimited, Comma Delimited, Side By Side Only) for the text being converted and the number of columns and rows needed.

              4. Click OK to return to the document.

For more information on tables or how to adjust the sizes of columns, see pages 362 375 of the Reference to Microsoft Word version 4.0 manual.


        The Text in My Document Overlaps in Certain Places

If the right indent for the paragraphs on the left is to the right of the left indent for the paragraphs on the right, the text will overlap. For example, if the left paragraph s indents are placed between 0 and 4 inches and the right paragraph s indents are placed between 2 and 6 inches, the two columns of paragraphs will overlap.

I want one of my When the left indent marker for a paragraphs to be paragraph that is meant to be above the other beneath another is moved paragraph. Instead, slightly, the second paragraph the second paragraph overwrites the first paragraph. overwrites the first If paragraphs are meant to follow paragraph. How can I one another, their indent markers correct this? must be exactly the same. To ensure the same format, use the Copy Format procedure (pages 37 39 in Reference to Microsoft Word ) or apply styles. I am creating side-by- When entering the data, the side paragraphs. My paragraph that you want to appear paragraphs are side on the right must be placed below by side, but the the paragraph that you want to paragraph I want on appear to the left. To move the the left is on the paragraph, select the paragraph right, and the you want to appear on the right paragraph I want on and choose Cut from the Edit the right is on the menu. Place your cursor below the left. paragraph that you want to appear to the left and choose Paste from the Edit menu. My side-by-side Side-by-side paragraphs cannot be paragraphs keep split between two pages. For moving to the second example, if the last three lines page, leaving a large of any paragraph in a set of side- gap at the bottom of by-side paragraphs do not fit on the first page. the page, the entire block of side-by-side paragraphs will be moved to the next page, leaving a gap at the bottom of the previous page. I have two paragraphs The default line spacing in Word in different fonts is Auto. This is based on the that are formatted as height of the font being used. If side by side. When I the paragraphs are in two attempt to print my different fonts, they may have document, the line different line spacing. To spacing between the correct this problem, you must two paragraphs does use absolute line spacing, as not align correctly. follows: 1. Select the two paragraphs. 2. From the Format menu, choose Paragraph. 3. In the Line box under Spacing, type a minus sign ( ) and the point size of the larger font (for example, 24). 4. If the specified negative size does not produce the desired results, use a smaller number for tighter lines or a larger number for greater line spacing. When I format my There probably is a blank line paragraphs as side by between the two paragraphs. If side, my right you are using Word 3.x, choose paragraph is shifted Show from the Edit menu. Place up one line higher your cursor next to the paragraph than my left marker above the right paragraph paragraph. that you are placing in side-by- side format. From the Format menu, choose Paragraph and deselect the Side-By-Side box. (If you are using Word 4.00, choose Side By Side from the Format menu to deselect this format.) This problem can also be caused by having Spacing Before set for the left paragraph.

Additional reference words: macword macword5 4.00 5.00 3.x

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