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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Multi-column documents (MS Word 2003)

    Hi, I would like to create a template (or style sheet) for a sales document which is based on an asymmetrical 2-column layout, such that the main text is in the right-hand column and would look like a normal single column document, with the narrower left hand column (almost like in the margin) used for key messages and facts.

    Basically it would read like any normal document but with these key messages appearing in "the margin".

    I am unsure how to proceed. Clearly I can't just use the "columns" feature of MS Word, since when I write the main document, it would only use the right-hand column - the left column being reserved for a different purpose. Not to mention the fact that the columns feature introduces section breaks which would complicate my footer-based page numbering, which includes chapter numbers.

    I assume you can't put text in a document's real margin?

    I thought about putting the entire document in a two-column table, but I would have to change all the styles.

    I want to have a method of doing this that doesn't create difficulties for "normal Word users" to understand.

    Any ideas? An example layout is attached.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Multi-column documents (MS Word 2003)

    You could use a single column, with a wide left margin.
    Put a text box (or several text boxes) in the left margin.

    You might also consider using Microsoft Publisher, a program resembling Word but more geared towards newsletters, brochures, flyers etc.

  3. #3
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    Re: Multi-column documents (MS Word 2003)

    Hmm yes, i can do that. Is there any way of being able to align and size the text boxes easily? The "Format Text Box" dialog has "Size" and "Layout" tabs, but I can see anything to easily be able to align the right hand side of the text box in the left hand margin ( I can align the left hand side of the text box with the left hand margin).

    Is that something you could turn into a macro and put on a toolbar button i.e. a button to insert a standard size text box at the right location (taking the horizontal alignment relative to the left margin and the vertical alignment where the cursor is)? Any tips on the functions that I need to use? I wouldn't want to have to manually align the text boxes all the time.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Multi-column documents (MS Word 2003)

    The Drawing toolbar provides tools to align objects such as text boxes:
    - Select a text box, then select one or more other texty boxes by holding down Shift while clicking their borders.
    - Select an option from the Drawing | Align or Distribute submenu.

    Options from the Drawing | Grid... dialog may also help aligning objects.

  5. #5
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: Multi-column documents (MS Word 2003)

    We use a template at work that has material in the margin like that. We put it there in frames. It is only necessary to set it up once the way you like it, because then you can save it as a piece of autotext (no need to use a macro). You can even have a toolbar button to insert it for you every time you want.

    Ian

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