Pagination breaks in a Word document

Word 365
A paragraph break and a page break are the most heavily utilized breaks in Word. Less commonly used but very convenient for various tasks are line breaks, section breaks, and column breaks.

Page Break

A page break is one of the most used breaks.

Word creates a new page if no more content on the document page can fit between the top and bottom margins. In this case, Word automatically inserts a soft page break, a page break that moves when the preceding content changes:

Soft page break in Word 365   or   Soft page break 2 in Word 365

You can manually insert a page break if you want to break the page at another location:

Page break in Word 365   or   Page break 2 in Word 365

When you edit document content, Word changes the location of the soft page breaks for automatic page breaks but not for manually inserted page breaks.

You can display page breaks as regular nonprintable symbols. Word displays them as Page break as nonprintable symbol in Word 365.

To insert a manual page break, position the cursor where you want to insert the page break in the document, and then do any of the following:

  • On the Insert tab, in the Pages group, click Page Break:
    Page break button in Word 365
  • On the Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Breaks, and then click Page:
    Page in Page Breaks Word 365
  • Press Ctrl+Enter.

Note: Automatic (soft) and manual page breaks start the new page. All formatting from the original page applies to the new one. Use this type of break to start a new page with the same formatting.

To control page break settings, modify the page setting options such as page margins. To control paragraph page break settings, modify options on the Line and Page Breaks tab of the Paragraph dialog box. See How to keep lines and paragraphs together in a Word document.

See below how to delete a page break.


Column Break

You can format an entire document or a document section in columns. Within the columnar text, you can insert a column break to specify where you want to end one column and start another:

Column Break in Word 365

You can display column breaks as regular nonprintable symbols. Word displays them as Column break as nonprintable symbol in Word 365.

To insert a column break, position the cursor at the beginning of the line you want to start in the new column, and then do any of the following:

  • On the Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Breaks, and then click Column:
    Column in Page Breaks Word 365
  • Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

See below how to delete a column break.


Text wrapping break

See how to create and use line or text-wrapping breaks.


Section Break

Suppose you want to format pages of the part of your document differently from the rest of the document. For example, page orientation is different from the surrounding pages. Insert section breaks above and below the pages of the specific part (see how to use different page orientations inside one document):

Different page orientations in Word 365

Suppose you select a section of text and change its page orientation, margins, format it in columns, etc. In that case, Word automatically inserts section breaks at the beginning and end of the selected text to delineate the area with new formatting.


To insert a section break, do the following:

   1.   Position the cursor where you want to insert the section break in the document.

   2.   On the Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Breaks, then under Section Breaks, select one of the options:

Section Breaks in Word 365
  • Next Page break starts a new section on the next page. This option moves the text to the next page and allows you to apply different formatting for the new section. The Next page section break is shown as Next page section break in Word 365 (see how to display section breaks).
  • Continuous break starts a new section without affecting page breaks. Continuous page section break is shown as Continuous section break in Word 365.
  • Even Page break starts the following section on the next even-numbered page. Even page section break is shown as Even Page section break in Word 365.
  • Odd Page break starts the following section on the next odd-numbered page. Odd page section break is shown as Odd Page section break in Word 365.

You can configure the page layout, page setup, and headers and footers for each section independently.


To remove a page break, column break, or section break, click at the left end of the break or select the break and press the Delete key.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.

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