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: Arranging Paragraphs.

Arranging Paragraphs

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 16, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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Sometimes you want to move a paragraph or two around in your document. For instance, you might want to move a paragraph from its current location to before the preceding paragraph. You can quickly move paragraphs by following these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point in the paragraph you want to move.
  2. While holding down the Shift and Alt keys, press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow to move the paragraph.

Remember that to Word, a paragraph is defined as any text that is terminated by a hard return. It is full paragraphs that are moved by this shortcut. (You can also use this shortcut to move rows in a table.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10625) 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: Arranging Paragraphs.

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 seven more than 9?

2023-12-16 11:50:58

Brian Lair

Oops, make that Shift+Alt in my other comment, not Ctl+Alt -- shows how much I pay attention! :-)


2023-12-16 11:49:35

Brian Lair

I didn't know that Ctl+Alt-Up/Down would also move table rows, so this tip was really helpful!

For regular paragraphs, another option is to put the document in Outline view, then drag the paragraphs up & down as needed.


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