I am looking for a shortcut key for columns in text boxes. I know that there is probably not one and that I would have to create it, but I don't know what you would call it in the shortcut menu.

I also know that I can go to text frame options to change the columns, but I want to click one button and have two columns. Is this possible. I use two or three columns A LOT! I would love to have a shortcut key for this.

3 Answers 3


Personally, I love keyboard shortcuts, but not everyone does. While it is definitely not as "one-click" as @Scott's answer, I still feel it is extremely efficient.

Pressing Ctrl/Command+B will bring up the Text Frame Options. Conveniently, the current number of columns is selected by default. Now you can just type the number of columns you want (such as 3) and press Enter/Return. No mouse interaction needed at all!

  • .. could have swore I read a comment with that somewhere... :)
    – Scott
    Sep 22, 2014 at 21:17
  • Gosh, sorry @Scott, I just looked at your answer, and didn't even read your comments. I'm not a seasoned enough SE user to know what is appropriate at this point - should I delete my answer since it is kind of a duplicate? I'm more than happy to...
    – apex
    Sep 23, 2014 at 0:35
  • Oh no.. it's fine. My comment here was entirely tongue-in-cheek. :) Leave your answer.. it is ultimately correct :)
    – Scott
    Sep 23, 2014 at 0:38

You can use the control bar.....

enter image description here

The up arrow button would constitute 1 click.

  • That's how we all do it... It's just irritating to be able to do anything with a keystroke and then having to grab the mouse to make 2 columns. Thanks for the image though! People will understand what I am talking about now. All my Google searches point towards the drop down menu right to the right of what you highlighted.
    – user30202
    Sep 20, 2014 at 3:53
  • 3
    The drop down menu controls spanning, which is not the same as columns. I don't believe there is a shortcut for columns.. and I don't think you can set one. I, personally, use Command-B, hit a number, hit Enter. No need for the mouse.
    – Scott
    Sep 20, 2014 at 4:07

Unfortunately there is no shortcut available, not even a custom one (that I can find, in the program or online)

This means that your only other alternative is to find or write a script that will increase the number of columns for you and then assign that script to a keyboard shortcut.

Otherwise you will need to continue to adjust this setting manually.

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