Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Keeping Part of a Paragraph with the Next Block of Text.

Keeping Part of a Paragraph with the Next Block of Text

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 15, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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Holly is a long-time WordPerfect user who now needs to use Word for her job. When she used WordPerfect, she would often use WordPerfect's block-protect feature to keep the last part of a justified text paragraph with, say, a contract signature block. Since switching to Word, Holly has not been able to figure out how to accomplish the same thing.

The short answer is that there is no way to do this in Word. The reason has to do with fundamental ways in which formatting differs in Word and WordPerfect which are too long to go into here. (They have, however, been fully covered in other issues of WordTips.) There is a workaround that you may be able to play with a bit to see if it will provide the desired results. Follow these general steps:

  1. Make sure that Word is displaying non-printing characters. (Display the Home tab of the ribbon and click the Show/Hide tool.)
  2. At the point where you want the "block protect" to begin (perhaps at the beginning of the second-to-the-last line in the paragraph), insert a hard paragraph break. (Position the insertion point there and then press Enter.) You should see the familiar backwards-P symbol indicate the location of the paragraph break.
  3. Select the paragraph mark (the backwards-P symbol) and format it as hidden text. (Press Ctrl+D and click the Hidden check box.) If you have Word configured so that hidden characters are not displayed, then it may appear as if your paragraph mark disappears. If hidden characters are displayed, then a red dotted underline appears under the paragraph mark.
  4. Position the insertion point in the paragraph after the paragraph mark and format it so that it stays with the following paragraph. (Display the Home tab of the ribbon, click the small icon at the lower-right of the Paragraph group, display the Line and Page Breaks tab, and click the Keep with Next check box.)

You may need to play with your character spacing a bit to get just the effect you want, but this workaround offers the best potential solution to what you are trying to do.

Another potential solution is more manual in nature, but it may just do the trick, particularly if you only periodically need to force the last two lines from a paragraph to the next page. Simply position the insertion point at the beginning of the second-to-last line of the paragraph and press the Left Arrow key one time. The insertion point should now be at the end of the preceding line. Hold down the Shift key as you press Enter. This inserts a line break into the paragraph. You can continue to hold down the Shift key as you repeatedly press Enter, until the two lines are on the new page.

If you use this approach, remember that when you enter these line breaks you are not starting a new paragraph. Word treats the entire paragraph (including the line breaks) as a single unit. This means that if you have the paragraph formatted as "Keep Lines Together" (see step 4 earlier in this tip), then inserting the line breaks may force the entire paragraph to the next page. Simply turn off the "Keep Lines Together" setting if you don't want the paragraph to behave in this manner.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9832) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Keeping Part of a Paragraph with the Next Block of Text.

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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What is five more than 6?

2022-10-25 05:10:18

Nick From London

Hi I find the ParagraphKeepWithNext command really useful so I have added it to the custom group on the Home Tab of the Ribbon.

Thanks for the tip. Could be useful in reports


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