With the Protostar template, the main content area will expand or reduce in size to fill the container if no modules have been assigned to the side columns. This means that no module has been assigned to either position-8 (left column) and or position-7 (right column).

It may be that you want to keep this column open even though no module is assigned to it. This may be for aesthetic purposed or because having the content area changing from page to page breaks the layout.

You can simply create a new Custom HTML module, give it a title of something like "Sidebar Placeholder". Assign the module to position-8 if you want a blank column on the left or to position-7 if you want a blank column on the right. Make sure the setting of Show Title is set to Hide. Do not place any text into the text editor and be sure the module remains published.

Protostar adds some background color and border radius to any module in position-7. You can give this Custom HTML module a Module Class Suffix (with a space in front of the class name) in the Advanced tab and target this class in your custom style sheet to have the following styling:

.emptypos7mod {
    background-color: transparent;
    border: none;
    border-radius: 0px;
    box-shadow: none;
    min-height: 0px;
    padding: 0;
    margin: 0;
}


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