Insert or Delete Page Breaks in Word Documents

Article by: Avantix Learning Team | Updated: July 26, 2018

Applies to: Microsoft® Word® 2010, 2013, 2016 or 365 (Windows)

You can add or remove page breaks in Microsoft Word in a number of ways. It’s important to understand that there are both manual page breaks and automatic page breaks in Word. Automatic page breaks are inserted by Word based on settings in the file (such as font size, paragraph spacing, page size and margins). You can delete manual page breaks one by one or you can even delete all manual page breaks. However, if page breaks are automatic, you can’t remove them, you can only adjust where they occur by editing the document (such as changing margins, paragraph spacing and font size).

If you are a keyboard only user, check out our article No Mouse? Using Keyboard Only Navigation in Microsoft Office.

Recommended article: 3 Easy Ways to Keep Text Together in Microsoft Word

Viewing page breaks

To view manual page breaks, paragraph marks and other non-printing characters in Microsoft Word:

  1. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Show/Hide Paragraph (Show/Hide ¶) in the Paragraph group. Paragraph marks, tabs, spacing and manual page breaks will display but will not print.

Removing unnecessary paragraphs

If a user has pressed Enter multiple times to create a new page (which is not good practice), you should delete the extra blank paragraphs (hard returns) to change the location of the automatic page break:

  1. If necessary, click the Home tab and then click Show/Hide ¶.
  2. Select the blank paragraphs (hard returns).
  3. Press Backspace or Delete to delete blank paragraphs.

Inserting a manual page break

To insert a manual page break using the Ribbon:

  1. If necessary, click the Home tab in the Ribbon and then click Show/Hide ¶.
  2. Place the insertion point where you want the manual break to appear.
  3. Click the Page Layout or Layout tab in the Ribbon.
  4. In the Page Setup group, click Breaks. A drop-down menu appears.
  5. Click Page under Page Breaks. A page break will appear with a dotted line and the word Page Break.

Below is the Breaks drop-down menu:

Insert page breaks drop down menu in Microsoft Word Ribbon.

To insert a manual page break using a keyboard:

  1. If necessary, click the Home tab in the Ribbon and then click Show/Hide ¶.
  2. Place the insertion point where you want the break to appear.
  3. Press Control + Enter. A page break will appear with a dotted line and the word Page Break.

Ensuring Track Changes is off

You can’t delete manual page breaks when Track Changes is turned on.

To turn off Track Changes:

  1. Click the Review tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Track Changes in the Tracking group.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Track Changes to turn tracking off.

You can also press Control + Shift + E to turn off Track Changes.

Deleting a manual page break

Manual page breaks are hidden by default. If you want to delete a manual page break easily, turn on Show/Hide ¶.

To delete a break:

  1. If necessary, click the Home tab and then click Show/Hide ¶.
  2. Double-click the break to select it or drag over it.
  3. Press Backspace or Delete to delete the break.

Removing all manual page breaks using Find and Replace

You can remove all manual page breaks using Find and Replace:

  1. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Replace in the Editing group or press Control + H. A dialog box appears.
  3. Click More >> to expand the dialog box (if necessary).
  4. Click in the Find what box.
  5. From the Special menu, choose Manual Page Break. The characters “^m” will appear.
  6. Click in the Replace with box.
  7. Ensure there is nothing in the Replace with box by pressing Delete (multiple times if necessary).
  8. Click Replace All.

Below is the expanded Find and Replace dialog box:

Find and Replace dialog box in Microsoft Word to find and delete all manual page breaks.

Controlling page breaks created with paragraph formatting

Page breaks may have been created by a user where specific paragraph settings have been selected.

If a page break is occurring and you do not see a manual page break with Show/Hide ¶ on, check the paragraph options:

  1. Select the first paragraph on the page following the page break.
  2. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click the Paragraph dialog box launcher on the bottom right corner in the Paragraph group. A dialog box appears.
  4. Click the Line and Page Breaks tab.
  5. Check to see whether one of the following three pagination options is selected:
    Page break before – inserts a page break before a paragraph.
    Keep with next – prevents a page break between the current and following paragraphs.
    Keep lines together – prevents a page break within a paragraph.
  6. Select the desired pagination option.
  7. Click OK.

Below is the Paragraph dialog box:

Paragraph dialog box in Microsoft Word.

Note: The above paragraph formatting options may have been included in a style such as Heading 1. If that is the case, you will need to edit the style and change the pagination options in the style.

Page breaks can be troublesome and learning how they are created will help in removing them.

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Summary
How to Add or Remove Page Breaks in Microsoft Word
Article Name
How to Add or Remove Page Breaks in Microsoft Word
Description
You can add or remove page breaks in Microsoft Word in a number of ways. You can delete manual page breaks one by one or delete all manual page breaks. However, if page breaks are automatic, you can’t remove them, you can only adjust where they occur by editing the document.
Author
Publisher Name
Avantix Learning

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