[Writer] Padding inside columns

I need to add padding inside my columns in Writer so my sentences don’t touch the extremities of the columns.

All my columns will be colored so my students can easily identify the session by the column color.

Please see screen-shot below.

Thanks !

Are you writing with styles? The indent solution proposed by @LeroyG is easier to implement with styles.

Menu Format - Columns - Spacing:.
Menu Format - Paragraph - Indent Before text: and After text:.

My bad, there was no padding.

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Thanks for the reply @LeroyG and @ajlittoz !

I don’t think both options worked.

Please see screen-shot below.

I would like to have the column background color unchanged. Just the text would be “indented”.


This is because you defined the background colour in the paragraph style not in the section or page style.

Note however that you can’t set the gutter background separately from the page/section.

A workaround is to insert a frame in the header or footer, give it the desired background and to dimension/offset it so as to cover the gutter.

Modify the paragraph style. (F11, right click in the paragraph style that you use for the text in the columns, select Modify, select the Borders tab). Don’t indent the text, add a border, line color same as background of your column, add padding instead of indentation. If you want different colors in the columns, you can do that by direct formatting (select all text in a column, select Format - Paragraph - then as in the paragraph style.)
Made some changes - removed padding below and above, added CRs to fill the columns, gave different colors to columns content using direct formatting. Note Saving as .docx will totally mess up the padding, so keep this in the .odt format, or you will get lost.
padded columns.odt (35,4 KB)
Edited sample file again.

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Thanks for the reply @floris_v !

I’m trying to find where to add the border. Is it in Menu> Format> Paragraph ?

See my edited answer.

Thanks for the reply @floris_v and @ajlittoz !

It almost worked, but my header got a little bit bugged. I’m not sure why.

I’m not tech savy, so I will just use the tab space bar.

Thanks guys!

I think that padding it’s enough.

But I don’t find a way to color all the column, if there are no paragraphs all to the end.

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@ LeroyG Correct about border, but you still have to be on the Borders tab. You can add blank paragraphs to fill the column.

Trying to avoid that.


I just downloaded your .odt. This is EXACTLY what I need.

Let me spend 10 minutes trying to replicate what you did.

Please don’t close this ticket yet!

@floris_v @ajlittoz

When I add the Padding, a space is created before the colored column.

I need that space, but on the inside on the colored column.

I have no clue what I’m doing wrong here. :confused:

Post your document here, screenshots don’t help because the indent is probably from the indents & Spacings tab.

@floris_v @ajlittoz

Here is the document!

ThanksForTheHelp.docx (40.7 KB)

This may be the problem. I would always prefer to save as .odt.

EDIT: Once saved/opened as .docx, error may persist. Copy the content, and paste in a new document.

You don’t show what you want to have in the header.

Still can’t add the padding. :frowning:

@floris_v It’s just my company name and logo. Does it interfere with the padding ?