Keeping Columns Fixed in Writer

I like using LibreOffice Writer to set up my to-do lists, but I was wondering if a certain functionality element is possible in regards to columns.

Simply, to separate some information I like to set up columns. For instance, I might have two columns, and to the left keep my isolated tasks and on the right keep my daily and weekly goals.

My frustration, however, is that I haven’t found a way to keep the columned separated so that they won’t influence each other. I don’t like it where I hit enter on the left column and it transfers over into the right column by knocking the content downwards; I want them to be totally separated so that if I hit enter in the left it won’t affect the right. That way I won’t have to constantly be reformatting the columns after the edits I make.

Is there anyway to get this function?

The simplest way is to create a two-column, single-row table. Items typed into one cell won’t affect the other cell. You can use bullet lists or numbered lists in the cells. Cells will expand to another page if you have long lists. If you prefer, you can hide the cell borders or make them less obtrusive (light gray for example).

Or you could insert two text frames side-by-side. You can even link the left hand text frame to the left hand text frame on the next page (text frames are restricted to one page.)

If you are using columns, make sure that when you set up the columns, you UNcheck Auto-width. (The Auto-width is what allows the columns to adjust automatically based on the contents of each column.) You can still use a manual column break so text after the manual column break goes into the second column without having to fill up the first column.

My general preference, however, is to use a two-column, two-row table, using the first row as a “title” row (it repeats automatically on every page if you set the first row as a heading row), and put the tasks and goals in the second row. If you turn off the boarder, you may want to set some space between the boarders and the contents of the cells by, with the whole table selected, in “Table”, “Table Properties”, “Boarders” tab, set the “Spacing to contents” to something that would look nice without having the text of the right column just looking like it is ran in from the contents of the left column, such as setting the spacing to 0.10" (which would end up being 0.20" between the left column text and right column text), but you may want to adjust for making it look best for your purpose. However, if all the items are in a numbered list or bulleted list, the default formatting for those indent the number or bullet, so you won’t need additional “spacing to contents” for those types of lists because the default indentation would visually separate the left column from the right.