Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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: Inserting a Non-Breaking Space.

Inserting a Non-Breaking Space

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 19, 2014)

3

When Word calculates line width and wraps text to the next line, it tries to break the line at either a space or a hyphen. Sometimes, however, you may not want Word to break a line at a certain space. For instance, you may want to make sure that two adjacent words appear on the same line as each other.

The answer is to use non-breaking spaces instead of regular spaces when you don't want Word to break a line at a certain space. To do this, hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys as you press the Spacebar. Word will then not break the line at that point.

An alternative way of inserting a non-breaking space is to follow these steps:

  1. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  2. 2 At the very right side of the ribbon, in the Symbols group, click Symbol and then More Symbols. Word displays the Symbol dialog box.
  3. Click on the Special Characters tab. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Special Characters tab of the Symbol dialog box.

  5. Highlight the Nonbreaking Space character.
  6. Click on Insert.
  7. Close the dialog box by clicking on Cancel.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13071) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Inserting a Non-Breaking Space.

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 2 + 9?

2018-11-22 11:05:17

Karen Pierotti

The problem with using the symbol version is that American punctuation for ellipses has spaces between the periods. The symbol version is British although I believe newspapers use this to save space. Microsoft has some odd "normal" features, e.g. having an extra double space between paragraphs. The people coding for Word obviously don't know much about American punctuation.


2017-02-09 17:46:37

Michael Abegg

Hey, thanks. I knew about the keyboard shortcut but another application appropriated it, thanks for the reminder on how to do it from the menu.


2016-03-24 11:19:50

Nan

This is a great tip that I will use a lot. I often have right justified lines where I actually want a couple blank spaces before the right margin. Without this tip, that was impossible. Typing spaces just kept going out into the margin. I resorted to using underscores to hold the "empty" place at the end of the line. Ideal would be the ability to set an option for non-breaking spaces to be the default whenever there are, say 3 spaces together. (as one or 2 could just be a word or sentence break.) Thank you so much for this tip!


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