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: Inserting a Non-Breaking Space.

Inserting a Non-Breaking Space

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 22, 2021)


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 Microsoft 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. ...


Changing Error Checking Rules

Excel can check the data and formulas in your worksheet to see if it detects any errors. The rules used for this checking ...

Discover More

Quickly Displaying the Tabs Dialog Box

Setting tabs in a paragraph is a common task. This is most easily done by using the Tabs dialog box. Displaying the ...

Discover More

Making Sure that Data Accompanies a Chart

When sending a chart to someone else, it can be frustrating for the other person to open the workbook and see errors ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Ignoring Smart Quotes when Comparing Text

When comparing two pieces of text, you may find that Word's smart quotes can mess up the comparison. Here's a quick way ...

Discover More

Displaying Spaces in a Document

Seeing where every space is within a document can be very helpful in polishing your editing. Here's how to make those ...

Discover More

Adding Circles around Letters or Numbers

Want to add some handy circles around text in your document? Believe it or not, Word provides three ways you can ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven less than 7?

2021-07-20 05:34:20


Hi Gary,

I think you remember incorrectly - a page break is inserted by default via CTRL+RETURN. So unless you changed that or in your company an admin changed it, there will be no shortcut collision.

And by the way: In Word, whenever you assign a shortcut, the function formerly pertaining to that shortcut will no longer be executed. So Paul runs no risk of inserting page breaks instead of the desired nbsp...

2021-07-19 12:52:18

Garry Montgomery

But Ctrl+Shift makes a page break! To do Crtl+Shift+Space just gives a frantic rush of page breaks! There must be something else needs to be done. HELP

2021-05-24 09:22:54

Paul Stregevsky

I've mapped my nonbreaking space to the shortcut key Ctrl+Space. It comes in handy when I want to
- keep a coefficient with its term (32 psi).
- keep the parts of a date together (May 24).
- force a long title to wrap early in a table of contents rather than crash into the page number.
- force a long title onto a new line to make it more balanced or more semantically clear:
To boldly go
where no man has gone before (using 5 hard spaces)
In some of these cases, I could use a forced line break instead. But generally speaking, a forced space will behave more predictably if the surrounding text changes.

2021-05-23 08:01:19


possibly AutoReplace is able to handle that? Define "WT" to be replaced with "Word[nbrsp]Tips". I didn't try it yet, though...

2021-05-22 10:32:50

Phil Reinemann

Can the non breaking space be put into auto correct? How?
As an example, suppose I didn't want "Word Tips" to break at the end of the line.

2021-05-22 08:36:30

George Burall

There is a third way to enter a non-breaking space, hold down the ALT key and then enter ‘255’ on the numeric keypad (not the number keys across the top row on the QWERTY keyboard) and then release the ALT key. Ta Da

2021-05-22 07:28:56


Non-breaking space also gets inserted with key combination ALT+0160 (NUM PAD digits). This comes in handy whenever some person (me?) reassigned CtrlAltSpace to another function. This is tested in keyboard region for Germany, but I learned about it from a website written in English.

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.


FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.