The columns are called "groups" and the rows are called "periods".
There are 18 groups and 7 rows.
There are two rows on the bottom called the Lanthanide Series and the Actinide Series which are added into rows 6 and 7. Group 1 is called the Alkali Metals.
Group 2 is called the Alkaline Earth Metals.
Groups 3-12 are called the Transition Metals.
Group 17 is called the Halogens and Group 18 is called the Noble Gases.
The periodic table is read from left to right according to the atomic numbers.