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Creating a Split Page

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Creating a Split Page.

WordPerfect has a feature that allows you to create a "split page," meaning that you can create different "zones" on a page, and place them side-by-side. This feature was great for creating information that must be laid out side-by-side, such as student material and teacher commentary on that material.

Those coming to Word from a WordPerfect environment may wonder how you can create a split page layout in Word. The best way is through the use of tables in Word. Even for very long documents you can use tables to create side-by-side information. Follow these general steps:

  1. Open a new document and set the paper orientation and margins the way you want.
  2. Insert a three-column, single-row table in your document.
  3. Remove the borders around the table, if desired.
  4. Format the second (center) column to be rather narrow. This column will serve as the margin between the left and right columns.
  5. Adjust the width of the other columns as desired.
  6. Make sure the cells are formatted so that their contents can break across pages.
  7. In the left column, enter your student information; in the right column enter the related teacher commentary.
  8. Whenever you need to "align" or "synchronize" the contents in the columns, start a new row.

Using this technique, you can create documents of virtually any length you desire. The only thing you should be careful of is that you start a new row periodically. Word has been known to go "flaky" when creating tables that have a single row extending for pages and pages.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9409) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Creating a Split Page.

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Comments for this tip:

Joanne    09 Dec 2013, 15:32
What I want to do is a Portrait orientation and have the page split into 3 equal sections. This is similar to a brochure fold but I need to print with the word in a portrait orientation. Any ideas?
Siva Santhanam    01 Aug 2013, 10:27
What would be wrong if I use 'Page Layout > Column' feature, which is robust and accommodates still heavy formatting options?
Jeff W    01 Aug 2013, 10:00
You definitely should follow the advice for adding in new rows--perhaps with each new major heading.

Also, watch out because widow/orphan protection doesn't work in a table. You will need to make adjustments for single lines left at the bottom or top of pages. One last thing--if you are using footnotes, this isn't going to work too well (use end notes instead).
Dee     15 May 2013, 11:23
I agree with Linda, 12/13/12. There has to be an easier way to just divide the page into 3 or 4 equal parts.
Linda Loyd    13 Dec 2012, 09:54
this does not give good suggestion for dividing page into 4 equal sections as is so easy in WP to divide page

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