Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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: Forcing a Page Break Before a Paragraph.

Forcing a Page Break Before a Paragraph

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 29, 2018)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


As you are creating your documents, there may be certain types of paragraphs that should always begin at the top of a page. For instance, you may have a certain paragraph format that you use for section headings. Your page design calls for all sections to begin at the top of a page, so you must come up with a way to ensure this always happens.

There are two ways you can do this. The first is to search for each section heading and manually insert a page break before each of the heads. This can be time consuming, however. It is much easier to format the paragraph so it always begins on a new page. This is done with these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point in the section head paragraph.
  2. Make sure the Home of the ribbon is displayed.
  3. Click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Paragraph group. Word displays the Paragraph dialog box.
  4. Display the Line and Page Breaks tab. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Line and Page Breaks tab of the Paragraph dialog box.

  6. Make sure the Page Break Before check box is selected.
  7. Click on OK.

Using page breaks before your section heads is even more automatic if you use a style for all of the heads. All you need to do is format the style so that the head will always have a page break before it. Then, every time you use that heading style, Word inserts the requisite page break.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6820) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Forcing a Page Break Before a Paragraph.

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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