Keep Paragraphs, Words or Characters Together in Microsoft Word Documents

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated March 29, 2019

Applies to: Microsoft® Word® 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

You can keep text together in many ways in Microsoft Word. There may be times when you want to keep paragraphs together and other times when you want to keep words or characters together. In this article, we’ll use settings in the Paragraph dialog box (which can be built into styles if you use styles) as well as nonbreaking spaces or hyphens.

Recommended article: How to Keep a Microsoft Word Table or Row Together on One Page

First, let’s review three key Word concepts:

  1. A paragraph is anything with a hard return after it.
  2. It’s best to eliminate any blank paragraphs in a document.
  3. You can view paragraph formatting by clicking Show/Hide ¶ on the Home tab in the Paragraph group.

1. Keep paragraphs or lines together with paragraph settings

You may want to keep the lines in a paragraph together so that the paragraph doesn’t break across pages or you may want to keep a paragraph with the next paragraph and avoid inserting manual page breaks. This can be accomplished easily using the Paragraph dialog box.

To set a paragraph to keep together on the same page:

  1. Click in the paragraph you want to keep together.
  2. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click the dialog box launcher on the bottom right of the Paragraph group. The Paragraph dialog box appears.
  4. Select the Line and Page breaks tab.
  5. Check Keep Lines together.
  6. Click OK. The paragraph will no longer break across pages.

Below is the Paragraph dialog box:

Paragraph dialog box in Microsoft Word.

To set a paragraph to keep with the next paragraph:

  1. Click in the paragraph you want to keep with the next paragraph (the next paragraph should not be blank).
  2. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click the dialog box launcher on the bottom right of the Paragraph group. The Paragraph dialog box appears.
  4. Select the Line and Page breaks tab.
  5. Check Keep with Next.
  6. Click OK.

2. Keep text together with nonbreaking spaces

If you want specific words to stay together in the same line (such as De Marco), you can use nonbreaking spaces instead of regular spaces.

To insert a nonbreaking space between two words or letters using the keyboard:

  1. Position the cursor between the two words or letters you want to keep together (there should be no space between these characters).
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + Spacebar. Word inserts a nonbreaking space.

To insert a nonbreaking space between two words or letters using the Ribbon:

  1. Position the cursor between the two words or letters you want to keep together (there should be no space between these characters).
  2. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click Insert Symbol and then More Symbols in the drop-down menu.
  4. Select the Special Characters tab.
  5. Select Nonbreaking space and click Insert.
  6. Click Close. Word inserts a nonbreaking space.

Below is the Insert Symbol dialog box.

Insert Symbol dialog box in Microsoft Word.

3. Keep text together with nonbreaking hyphens

You can also use nonbreaking hyphens to keep words together (such as co-ordinator or 416‑222‑9999).

To insert a nonbreaking hyphen between two words or letters using the keyboard:

  1. Position the cursor between the two words or letters you want to keep together (there should be no space between these characters).
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + Underscore (_). Word inserts a nonbreaking hyphen.

To insert a nonbreaking hyphen between two words or letters using the Ribbon:

  1. Position the cursor between the two words or letters you want to keep together (there should be no space between these characters).
  2. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click Insert Symbol and then More Symbols in the drop-down menu.
  4. Select the Special Characters tab.
  5. Select Nonbreaking hyphen and click Insert.
  6. Click Close. Word inserts a nonbreaking hyphen.

If you’d like to view nonbreaking spaces, nonbreaking hyphens and paragraph marks:

  1. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click the Show/Hide ¶ in the Paragraph group.

You can turn off the symbols by clicking on the same button.

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Summary
3 Microsoft Word Tricks to Keep Text Together (Paragraphs, Words or Characters)
Article Name
3 Microsoft Word Tricks to Keep Text Together (Paragraphs, Words or Characters)
Description
You can keep text together in many ways in Microsoft Word. You can use different strategies to keep paragraphs, words or characters together ...
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Avantix Learning

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