I am making a two column document, but I have a large table that I want to make span the columns. How can I do this in Microsoft Word?



text text text    text text text
text text text    text text text
text text text    text text text
text text text    text text text

5 Answers 5


I think you can just drag the table to where you want it once you've created it. Or more formally try setting the table's position relative to the margin or page, rather than to the column. You will need to play with the wrapping too (probably set it to Around).


To insert a two column table paste the table at its desired location. MS Word will format the table in the column where you pasted it. So, if the table is too wide (the raison d'etre why spanning across two columns is desired), it will appear a bit distorted.

Then place the cursor before the table and insert a section break (continuous). Repeat this after placing the cursor after the table. Then select the contents of this section (i.e. just select the table). Don't fret if the section is not clearly demarcated from the rest of the document (if you prefer to see the section breaks, just press Ctrl+Shift8; the same combo to hide them). Then convert the section to a single column layout. Your table should now span across two columns.

If you are unable to complete any step(s) mentioned in the previous paragraph, refer to the following links:


I faced similar situation. Google brought me to this forum, however, I do not think any of the solutions on this page are correct or complete. I see that this post is quite old but I would still like to share my solution, so that others may benefit from it.

I am using Microsoft Office 2016.

  1. First, I inserted a text box by going to Insert > Text Box
  2. Once the text box is on the document, I adjusted its width so that it meets my needs. It spanned from column 1 to column 2 (roughly speaking, it was as wide as the page)
  3. Next, I could see the box is covering my text. To solve this, I selected the text box and went to Layout > Wrap Text > Square

The beauty of this solution is that Text Box serves as an independent identity and any formatting changes made else where in the word document will not affect the text box

  • 3
    This was the only thing I could get working. Thanks for the idea.
    – userABC123
    Jan 15, 2020 at 16:14

Select the whole table. Select the Layout tab, click Columns, Two.

Optionally, select the header row. Select the Layout tab and click Repeat Header Rows.

  • Welcome to Super User. I think you may have misread the question. Neither suggestion addresses the issue in the question.
    – fixer1234
    Mar 13, 2019 at 19:53

The latest suggestion was mostly useful, until I was trying to import some text reference (for scientific work) within the table. So I had to discard it and something strange just worked. Step 1. On the last line before the table, press enter followed by section break. Step 2. Select the whole table content by clicking the small cross-arrow sign that appears at the top left corner of the table. Step 3. while the whole table is selected go to "page layout tab" under the "page setup" section press "columns" select "one" and that should do it.


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