Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Adding a Break to Your Document.

Adding a Break to Your Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 30, 2017)

As you are typing in Word, you will notice the program automatically keeps track of where you are. When your document no longer fits on a single page, Word automatically inserts a page break (indicated by a thin dashed line when viewing your document in Normal view) and wraps your text to the next page.

There may be times, however, when you want to insert a break in your text manually. Word supports the following types of breaks:

  • Page breaks. Causes the following text to begin at the top of the next page.
  • Column breaks. Causes the following text to begin at the top of the next column. (If there is only one column in your page layout, the column break functions the same as a page break.)
  • Section breaks. Causes the following text to begin a new section of your document. Where the actual break occurs depends on the type of section break you use. There are four different types of section breaks that can be inserted in your document.
  • Text-wrapping breaks. These breaks, which are not available in Word 97, are closely akin to line breaks (Shift+Enter). A text-wrapping break breaks a line of text and moves the text to the next line. This type of break is intended for use with text that wraps around graphics.

To insert a break in your document, follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point at the position where you want to insert the break.
  2. Display the Page Layout tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Breaks tool, in the Page Setup group. Word displays a list of breaks you can insert.
  4. Click the type of break you want to insert.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6703) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Adding a Break to Your Document.

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. ...


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