Best Way to Setup/Format for Classic (5.5 x 8.5) in Word Processor


I am somewhat stumped as to the best way to setup and format my word processor for producing classic (5.5 x 8.5) sized pages on U.S. letter (8.5 x 11) sized paper (2 to a page). What I've been using is a letter-size page setup in landscape with 2 columns. But this doesn't seem exactly right as I have to enter numerous extra returns in order to work on the second page before the 1st page (left column) is completely finished. And then, if I make changes to the first page (1st column), the second page often needs to be reformatted.

Is there a simpler, better way to layout two classic pages on one landscaped letter page?

I'm sure this is a simple, newbie question, so I appreciate your patience!

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Most certainly!

In Word, find the "Insert" Menu, inside there, you should be able to find the option to inert several different kinds of "breaks"--a page break, a column break, and section breaks. The one you want is called the "column break" and doest the obvious, which you are needing. Now, just click before that in the first column, and make your changes. It's one of those things that, if you don't know about it, is so complicated, but one you do, is so simple. :-)


Which word processor ?

Jon's answer is correct - a two-column layout will give you what you want.

If we know the specific application, we could give more specific assistance.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

The other way


The other way is to set up the whole page as one column, then make a three-column table that stretches across the whole page. The middle column becomes your 'gutter' with nothing in it, and the other two columns should take up the entire print area you want to use.

You can use many rows or just one really fat row for the entire page.

Frankly, the two-column layout with 'column breaks' is easier most of the time. However, I often use a table in combination with the two-column layout so I can do a monthly grid on one half of the page (for example) and a daily grid on the other.


Thanks for the Solution (Column Break)

Thanks for the column break tip. (I use NeoOffice/OpenOffice and it's there just as in Word). In my day job (attorney) I'm quite familiar with section/page breaks, but have never even noticed the column break before.

That solves it exactly.


the other way you can set

the other way you can set this up for printing is go to print set-up, make your custom page size 5.5 x 8.5 and then when you go to print select, print 2 pages per sheet. That will print two classic size pages on one letter size page. Adjust your margins accordingly for more space on the classic sheet.

I agree, format in page layout or print setup

This way is best, because if you ever change your mind and want to revent to 8 1/2 X 11, or any other page size, you don't have to modify the original document with new column breaks, page breaks, etc.

I use this method frequently, and it works well.

Crafty Pagan Computer Geek

Define the page size

Every word processor I have ever used has the feature of defining the paper/page size.
So just create a 5.5 x 8.5 page.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

OpenOffice suggestion

I would suggest using the Draw App of the OpenOffice suite, if you have that available. You open it up, rotate the page to landscape, set margins to 0. put guides around the page at .25 inches on the outside, and top. put a guide down the middle of the page, and a guide on either side of the middle guide at .5 inches. Use 2 text blocks to make your pages. You can find several templates which were created in this manner. If you look at my last article, and grab the journal template. You can get an idea of how to make your own pages. Just my suggestion based on how I do things.