Create multi-column documents in 4D Write Pro

Sometimes the information you include in your document is best displayed in columns. Not only can columns help improve readability, but some types of documents – newspaper articles, newsletters, flyers, etc. – are often written in column format. The good news is that with 4D v17, you can henceforth create multi-column documents with 4D Write Pro! And beyond document creation, you can also convert your existing 4D Write documents containing multiple columns.

As in the 4D Write plugin, it’s possible to define the number of columns for an entire document. But here’s a good example where 4D Write Pro exceeds 4D Write: you can also set a different number of columns … per section!

Database example

4D Write Pro document with multi column - page 1

2 columns in section #1

4D Write Pro document with multi column - page 2

3 columns in section #2


New set of attributes

The WP SET ATTRIBUTES and WP GET ATTRIBUTES commands have been updated to support new attributes to manage columns:

  • wk column count: define the number of columns for the document or the section
  • wk column spacing: define the spacing between two columns
  • wk column rule style, wk column rule color, wk column rule width: define the vertical column separator’s style (dotted, dashed, etc.), color or width


// Define 3 columns for the whole document
WP SET ATTRIBUTES(wpDoc;wk column count;3)

// Set the spacing between each column
WP SET ATTRIBUTES(wpDoc;wk column spacing;"36pt")

Look at the complete list of 4D Write Pro attributes >

You can insert a column break so the text starts in the next column with the WP INSERT BREAK command:

WP INSERT BREAK($range;wk column break;wk append)

New standard actions

We’ve also added new 4D Write Pro standard actions to manage multiple columns:

  • columnCount: to manage the number of columns
  • columnSpacing: to manage the spacing between the columns.
  • columnRuleStyle, columnRuleColor, columnRuleWidth: to define the style, color and width of the vertical column separator
  • insertBreakColumn: to add a column break

Look at the complete list of 4D Write Pro standard actions >

Vanessa Talbot
• Product Owner •Vanessa Talbot joined 4D Program team in June, 2014. As a Product Owner, she is in charge of writing the user stories then translating it to functional specifications. Her role is also to make sure that the feature implementation delivered is meeting the customer need.Since her arrival, she has worked to define key features in 4D. She has worked on most of preemptive multi-threading new features and also on a very complex subject: the new architecture for engined application. Vanessa has a degree from Telecom Saint-Etienne. She began her career at the Criminal Research Institute as a developer for the audiovisual department. She has also worked in media and medical fields as expert in technical support, production as well as documenting new features.