When you’re working on longer documents with many pages and lots of text, Microsoft Word’s Breaks feature is your best friend. This handy tool helps format the text in your document into clean, easy-to-read paragraphs and sections.
Word offers a number of different breaks, including Page Breaks, Column Breaks, and Section Breaks – the most commonly used being Page Breaks. Page breaks are best used within Styles. This is because Word Styles will automatically insert breaks where necessary, leaving your formatting unscathed and giving you better control over your document. You can still insert them manually should you need this flexibility.
In this post we’ll explain how to use page breaks to add structure and flexibility to your Word documents.
What are Page Breaks?
Insert a page break when you want to move to the beginning of the next page in your document. Many users, unaware of the page break feature, will simply mash the Enter key when they want to start a new page.
That works too – until you want to edit your document later. Doing it this way means that any changes you make will mess up your formatting. Using page breaks, your text will retain the formatting of the previous page in your document.
Using a page break will also ensure that the space between pages remains intact, whatever changes you make.
Other types of Page Breaks
One of the most frustrating things about using columns in Word is when you want the last line of your column moved to the first line of the adjacent column. Again, this can be fixed by hitting the Enter key a few times, but then your formatting goes out the window.
Insert a column break to start typing in the next column without losing your formatting.
Got images or other graphical elements in your document? Use the Text Wrapping tool to format caption text for images so that the rest of your text sits neatly around it.
If you want to take your formatting to the next level, here’s a little secret: we use tables to lay out graphics, which allows for ultimate control over your content. Just remember to turn off the table borders so they’re not visible.
How to use Page Breaks
There are two main ways to insert a Page Break. The first is from the Insert tab on Word’s ribbon, in the Pages section. You can also insert Page Breaks, Column Breaks, and Text Wrapping from the Breaks button in the Page Setup section of the Layout tab.
If you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts, hold down the CTRL key and hit Enter and Word will insert a Page Break for you.
That’s all we’ve got space for this time! In a future post we’ll cover the different types of Section Breaks available in Word.