Section Breaks Changing On Their Own

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 18, 2015)

Pete is currently generating a large document (approximately 540 pages) that utilizes both portrait and landscape page orientations. There are many, many section breaks in the document, since this is necessary which switching between page orientations. Lately when he inserts a "Next Page" section break the previous section break, which was also "Next Page," automatically changes to "Continuous." Pete wonders if there is a reason why this happens and, perhaps, if there is a limit on the number of "Next Page" section breaks there can be in a document.

According to Microsoft sources, there is no limit on the number of section breaks in a document. The problem, more than likely, is that Word is trying to "second guess" what type of section breaks you want. In that case, there really is no solution, other than to double-check section break settings after adding new breaks. If you are only using "Next Page" section breaks in your document, then you can select the entire document and apply the section settings to all sections at once.

It could be, however, that your document is large enough and complex enough that it has become, in some fashion, unstable. This is not entirely uncommon with complex Word documents and it can be even more common if you are working with Track Changes or have lots of graphics or tables. If you suspect this is the case, then save the document using Save As to see if it clears matters up. If it doesn't, transfer everything in the troublesome document (except the very last end-of-paragraph mark) to a new document and then save that new document.

Finally, if you have a very complex document and nothing else seems to work, consider breaking your document into smaller documents—perhaps about 100 to 150 pages each.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5939) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Finding Unused Names

After months or years of naming things (such as cell ranges), you may find your workbook cluttered with a bunch of names that ...

Discover More

Always Starting with a Blank Document

If you are using Word 2013 or Word 2016, you may have noticed that Microsoft changed what you see when you start the program. ...

Discover More

Setting Spacing for Radicals in the Equation Editor

The Equation Editor is a great tool for working with mathematical formulas. If your formula includes a radical symbol, you ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!


Aligning Plus/Minus Symbols

Scientific writing often involves the use of special symbols, such as the plus/minus symbol. If you want to align these ...

Discover More

Adding a Background to Your Document

Document backgrounds come in handy if you plan on converting the document to a Web page. Here's how you can add a background ...

Discover More

Margins for All Documents Changing

Have you had the margins in a group of documents change without you knowingly doing anything? This tip explores some reasons ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.


FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing