How can i alternate 2 columns with one column such as for a large table or picture?

For publishing a scientific paper I need to alternate between a two-column and a one-column format to fit large tables or pictures into the text during the one-column format.
Large pictures by themselves can be inserted but they cannot be situated within a table (e.g. 2 table rows for the picture and the text each). Having such an integration would greatly simplify the editing process.

Your question lacks precision about the general layout of your paper. I’ll give you only hints and you’ll have to adapt them to your case.

##Multiple page styles

If your large inserts are somehow “off-text”, you can have them into dedicated pages containing only the table or the picture.

Your main article is in your default 2-columns page style. Where you want the “full page” table or picture, you Inset>More Breaks>Manual Break to switch to another single-column page style. You do the same after the table/picture to revert to your default 2-column page style.

Drawback: a lot of wasted whitespace and a weird look for your paper.

##Multiple sections

Your default page style must have a single column because you can’t reduce the number of columns when inserting sections (a section is always inserted in an existing column).

Insert>Section (2-column) for the textual part of your paper. Exit from the section to layout your large table/picture. Create a new section after the table/picture.

Drawback: text flow will force balancing between the columns resulting in a unconventional reading order.


Your page style is designed for your 2-column paper.

Where you need your large table/picture, Insert>Frame. The frame can be as large as you like and its wrap mode should be set to Parallel so that text in regular column flow around the frame. I f you want no text on the sides of the frames, use None wrap mode. Don’t forget to uncheck Allow overlap to make sure no objet will overlay/be overlaid by the frame.

In the Type tab of the frame, you can position the frame anywhere within the page. Warning! Use Anchor To paragraph (and avoid absolutely To page) despite the name. Position can be tune as you like relative to the paragraph or even the page (yes, in To paragraph mode).

Your table must be inserted in the frame.

In the picture case, Insert>Image always uses a frame. So, you can directly insert the picture and tune the implicit frame properties afterwards.

IMHO, this is the best solution, though it might look technically harder to a newbie.

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You tagged docx.

Save as.odt and only export to docx when complete. Be aware that docx might not support all the functionality of.odt. Export to pdf will always be accurate

If you really do need to work in docx format then consider using Word instead

@EarnestAl: thanks for the remark, I didn’t pay enough attention to this tag.

@ajlittoz no worries, it is a very wide question but you covered it well. :slight_smile: