Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 3, 2015)

4

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, and 2013. 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 nine minus 4?

2015-10-04 11:30:45

VeryJoyful

The way I've solved this using MS Word 2007 is very simple. Should work in every version. After typing the entire letter, including the signature block, cc's, bcc's etc., and then finding Holly's need to Keep and force certain lines together/down, I do the following. No need to use hidden characters at all, except to display them if you wish (see NOTE).

1. Position cursor at beginning of the next-to-the-last line in that last paragraph.

2. Press [Enter key] twice to separate those last two lines into a new paragraph.

3. Without moving cursor, press [Shift+Ctrl+End], which will highlight/select those last two lines and the rest of the letter.

4. Click the Home Tab.

5. Click on the Paragraph Block's down/list arrow to display the Paragraph Dialogue Box.

6. Click the Line and Page Breaks tab.

7. Check BOTH the Keep With Next and Keep Lines options. (Window/Orphan control may be left ON or Off.

8. Click OK

All the selected text will now be on the next page.

If you then need to modify the rest of the body of the letter, these lines will all stay together on the second page unless you delete enough of the body-text for ALL the lines to fit on the first page.

NOTE: If you have Show/Hide selected -- displaying paragraph marks -- the lines you have grouped will each have a little square block in front of them.


2015-10-03 14:14:43

Phil Reinie

Harold's comment covered my idea, and orphaned lines control may help too.

The "manual" way with Shift+Enter is only good until text with additional lines are added earlier in the document. You have to reformat the particular paragraph over and over, so Shift+Enter is only good in a finalization step.


2015-10-03 14:12:29

Phil Reinemann

Harold's comment covered my idea, and orphaned lines control may help too.

The "manual" way with Shift+Enter is only good until text with additional lines are added earlier in the document. You have to reformat the particular paragraph over and over, so Shift+Enter is only good in a finalization step.


2015-10-03 11:18:43

Harold Faulkner, III

You could also use the "Keep with next" box in the "Line and Page Breaks" tab in the paragraph formatting box.


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