I need to create a newspaper-style layout with a masthead across the top of the page, blurbs on the five top stories below that, and then a three-column layout for the rest of the page. But when I change the number of columns, everything I've laid out so far goes screwy.
This shouldn't happen unless you're selecting all of the text before you change the number of columns.
To fix this problem:
Select the first part of the text to which you want to apply a different number of columns, choose Format » Columns, specify the number of columns, make sure that "Selected text" rather than "Whole document" is selected in the "Apply to" drop-down list, and click the OK button.
Select the next part of the text that needs a different number of columns, choose Format » Columns, and specify the number of columns for that text. Word automatically inserts a continuous section break between each section that has a different number of columns.
Press Alt+ to move to the top of the previous column on the page, and Alt+ to move to the top of the next column.
Prevent Columns from Vanishing When You Save as a Web Page
I got my columns just perfect in the documentbut when I saved it as a web page for my site, Word lumped them together into a single column. Am I doing something wrong?
It depends on how you define "wrong." But no, not really. Microsoft designed Word to do this, even if you don't like it. What you need to do is use a table to create your columns rather than using newspaper-style columns. Word will maintain the table's columns when you save the document as a web page.