Word processor with parallel columns?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Qaanol, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    Is there a word processor with the native ability to create parallel-column documents?

    That is, each column operates independently. When the first column of page 1 is full it continues in the first column of page 2 then the first column of page 3 and so on. Similarly the second column of page 1 continues in the second column of page 2. You get the idea.

    So, is there a program that does this elegantly?
  2. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    I don't know of any word processors that do that natively but you can use Pages to make it work in a more manual method.

    Create 2 columns of text boxes on the first page. Create an additional page with 2 columns of text boxes. Then link the left box on page #1 to the left box on page #2. Link the right box on page #1 to the right box on page #2. Repeat for as many pages that are needed.
  3. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    You most likely are looking for a "Page Layout" application. Search for that.
  4. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2008
    That was one of Framemaker’s strengths (you could set up the underlying document structure to automate the process). Sadly, Adobe cut all support of it to the Mac, and has been available only as Windows and Linux since April 2004.

    As mentioned above, some page layout programs could follow the process manually (Independent columns in FM. Not sure about InDesign, as I no longer have it.

    Not sure, but perhaps LaTeX could handle that. But the learning curve is steep.
  5. ssmed macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2009
    I think you needed to buy a plug-in for Indesign - at least in the past and their doesn't seem to be a easy way of doing it now although there are worse jobs than linking frames. A quick look at the manual doesn't give any hints for ID.

    Framemaker did do this, as mentioned, and for a big project might be worth it, although it is Windows only. I only have v8, newer versions look a little less 1990s and have more ePub compatibility. It is great for really long technical documents, but could really do with support for Endnote or Reference manager.
  6. fizzler macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2010
    I don't know if it will suit your needs, but have you tried Scrivener?:


    It has loads of neat features, including split screen view. There is a 30day free trial. I now use it for all my wordprocessing, then export to word/PDF for final presentation.
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    In InDesign, you can create documents to do that. Not sure if there are automated ways, but I can do it easily manually.

    Otherwise, insert a 2 column table in your Word document. Works fine on my Mac.

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