How To Make a Two-Column Bulleted List in Word

Updated February 3, 2023

A two-column bulleted list is a formatting option when creating a Microsoft Word document that allows you to include two parallel sections on the same page. Using a two-column list can help with organization or increase the amount of information on the page. Learning how to create two-column lists can help expand your capabilities when working with Microsoft Word.

In this article, we discuss what a two-column bulleted list in Word is, reasons you might use one, how to create one and provide tips.

What is a two-column bullet list?

A two-column bullet list divides one or more pages on a Microsoft Word document into two vertically aligned sections. It includes bullet points that allow you to list multiple items cleanly. You can use bullet points for individual words and items or allow each bullet point to contain a sentence or paragraph of information.

Here's an example of what a two-column bullet list could look like:

Image description

A two-column bulleted list with things to include on a resume.

Related: How To Include Microsoft Office Skills on a Resume

Reasons to add a two-column bullet list

When creating a Microsoft Word document, there are situations where you may benefit from using a two-column bullet list, including:

Decreasing page lengths

When creating a list of short items, using two columns can help you reduce the length of your file. Because bulleted items comprising single words or phrases don't fill the entire width of the page, you can reduce the length of your document by half by making a short two-column list. This can help you save paper when printing physical copies and also improve its appearance on screen by minimizing wasted space.

Related: How To Write Vertically in Word (With 2 Methods)

Creating a pro-con assessment

A two-column bulleted list can be an effective format for creating a pros and cons list. This allows you to note the benefits of an opportunity in one column and the drawbacks of the same opportunity in an adjacent column. Having neighboring lists of the good and bad elements associated with an opportunity can help you make a more informed decision about whether it's something you should pursue.

Related: How To Create a Meaningful Pro-Con List

Comparing two options

Another area where a two-column bullet list can help you is when comparing two options. By placing one option in the left column and the other option in the right column, you can add bullet points about each to determine which is the preferable opportunity. Seeing what you consider most important for each option laid out next to each other can make it easier to compare.

Related: 15 Tips for Comparing Job Offers

Annotating a document

When creating a research document, you may wish to include citations in your work. One alternative to using footnotes is to create a column on the side of the page where you can include information about any citations you used. This allows you to provide reference information for where you learned certain pieces of information or to offer further elaboration on a topic that didn't fit within the context of the main body.

Related: How To Make a Gantt Chart in Word in 5 Steps (Plus Tips)

How to add a two-column bullet list in Word

If you wish to add a two-column bullet list to your Microsoft Word document, consider these steps:

1. Click on the "Page layout" tab

To add a second column to your document, you can change the layout format. Click on the "Page layout" tab at the top of your Microsoft Word window. This displays several layout options you can use to customize the appearance of your word document.

Related: How To Place Horizontal and Vertical Lines in Word Documents

2. Choose to create two columns

Inside of the "Page layout" tab, click on "Columns" to see your column options for the document. Select the "Two" option, represented by both the word and an icon displaying two parallel columns of text. This divides your current word document into two even columns.

Related: Using Bullet Points in Your Resume To Stand Out

3. Adjust your margins

When Microsoft Word adds columns to your document, it displays the dimensions of your columns across the ruler at the top of the page. This includes the margins between each column and the side of the page and the spacing between the two columns. If you wish to change the size of your margins or the size of your columns, click on an edge marker on the ruler at the top of the page and drag it to your desired location. This allows you to customize the layout of your two columns to match your needs.

Related: A Guide to Resume Margins

4. Add bullet points

With your two columns created, you can add bullet points to your list. Click on the word document so that your cursor is inside of the first column and then click "Home" at the top of the screen. Choose "Paragraph" from the resulting options and then choose "Bullets and Numbering" to add your bullet points. Microsoft word provides multiple options for customizing your bullets, including choosing to use numbers, letters or one of the available bullet point styles.

Related: How To Format a Table of Contents in Word in 7 Steps

Tips for adding a two-column bullet list in Word

If you wish to add a two-column bullet list to your Word document, using these tips can improve your experience :

  • Vary your formatting: When adding columns to your Microsoft Word document, you can change the number of columns in different sections of your work. This can help to make your document more visually diverse and also allow you to share the information required efficiently and attractively.

  • Add spacing: When creating a bulleted list that comprises sentences or paragraphs for each entry, adding a space in between items can be beneficial. The additional space may help make your document more visually appealing and may also make it easier to read by separating large sections of text.

  • Use column breaks: After creating a two-column section on your document, Word naturally fills the left column until you reach it and then fills in the right side. If you wish to write on the right-hand side before reaching the bottom of the left side, you can insert a column break by selecting "Layout" from the top menu, then "Breaks" and choosing "Column" to move over to the right side immediately.

Please note that none of the companies or products mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


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