There you are typing away and when you arrive at the bottom of the page, Word automatically creates a new blank page. It is a bit like magic! This is known as an Automatic Page Break and Word will happily keep on creating new pages whenever you need them when you get to the bottom of a page. However, there are times when you want to control the page breaks yourself.

Perhaps you simply press the Enter key until a new page starts – or that may be what you did when you started using Word – but the problem arises when you later make changes to the document, adding (or deleting) some of the text. The new page is then likely to start in the wrong place.

What you need are manual page breaks.

There are also several ways to control how page breaks behave in relation to the text on the page.

Working with Page Breaks

The easiest way to add a manual page break is to use the keyboard shortcut. Simply place the cursor where you want the page break and press the Control Key and the Enter
Key together (Command and Enter on Mac). This will add a page break where the cursor is sitting.

You can also use the ribbon to add a page break.

Click the Layout Ribbon and then the dropdown arrow next to Breaks. Select the top option, Page, and a new page break will be added to your document.

Controlling Automatic Page Breaks

For a professional document, you will want to control how the automatic page breaks behave so that they don’t appear in places where you don’t want them.

Prevent Page Breaks in the Middle of a Paragraph

Select the paragraph that you wish to stop breaking onto two pages.

On the Home or Layout Ribbon click on the paragraph dialogue box launcher and then click on the Line and Page Breaks tab.

Tick the Keep lines together box and click OK.

Prevent Page Breaks between Paragraphs

Highlight the paragraphs that you want to keep together and click on the paragraph dialogue box launcher as above.

Tick the Keep with Next option.

Set a Page Break to Occur Before a Paragraph

Click into the paragraph that you want to follow a page break. Click the paragraph dialogue box launcher as above and select the Page Break Before check box.

Two Lines at the Top or Bottom of a Page?

For a professional-looking document, you should never end a page with just one line of a new paragraph or start a page with only the last line of a paragraph from the previous page. The last line of a paragraph by itself at the top of a page is known as a widow, while the first line of a paragraph by itself at the bottom of a page is known as an orphan.

Select the paragraphs where you want to avoid two lines at the top or bottom of a page (or press Control + A to select the whole document) and then click the paragraph dialogue box launcher as above. Tick the check box for Widow/Orphan Control.

Note that this option is turned on by default.

Prevent Page Breaks in a Table Row

Click into the row in the table that you do not want to break.

In the contextual Table Tools Ribbon click on the Layout Ribbon and then click Properties on the left-hand side.

Click the Row Tab and uncheck the box Allow Row to break across pages.

Delete a Page Break

You cannot delete an automatic page break. To delete a manual page break, display the document in Draft view and then delete the page break. You may need to display paragraph marks to see the page break.

To do this, on the Home Ribbon turn on the Show/Hide icon to display all non-printing characters in the document.

You can now use the Delete key to remove the manual page break you added.

What a difference a few small changes make! I’m sure it’ll take you no time at all to tidy up the page breaks in your document and that you’ll find it looks tidier and much more professional.

To learn more about Microsoft Word and how you can speed up routine tasks, take a look at my Microsoft Word Courses, Work Smarter with Style for Windows or Work Smarter with Style for Mac and Create Lead Magnets and eBooks in Word

Get The HUB and get access to ALL my courses including any new ones that are added. Always the best value.

Shelley Fishel

Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes