Microsoft Word Page and Section Breaks

A page break separates content between pages. After a page break, the text will always start at the top or beginning of the next page.

A section break splits your document into sections and allows you to have multiple different page formats in a document. Each section can have its own features for example, margins, page numbering, header/footer, portrait/landscape orientation, and page border. This is one of the elements that contributes to pagination.

I use the word computer however it also applies to a laptop or tablet, the technology you are using with Microsoft Word.

Page Breaks

A page break is set by default by the page size and margins and depends on your computer settings. For example if your computer is set to US the page size is Letter 21.59 x 27.94 cm (8.5 x 11 inches). A soft page break is inserted by default when you’ve filled up the page. This is not always appropriate as a sentence or paragraph may be split across two pages. To avoid this you have the choice of inserting or forcing a page break or hard page break at a more suitable point. The result, a good looking professional document.

Section Break: Next Page

A section break next page gives you entirely separate formatting in the new section. An example of a section break next page is changing the page format from portrait to landscape to insert a report schedule. To apply a section break next page insert it at the point where the page size will change, apply the landscape page setting. Type in the information then at the end of the information insert another section break next page. At the top of the following page change the page size back to portrait. The page layout can be independently set for each section.

The Even and Odd Page breaks let you insert a section break and go to the next even or odd page, respectively, so you can easily format your documents for left and right pages in a book.

Section Break: Continuous Page

The section break continuous is similar to the section break next page without putting you on a new page. An example of a section break continuous is inserting columns on the same page.

In essence a page is one column.  A simple way to apply a section break continuous for example to to apply it to columns. First type all the information, select only the information to section into columns then insert the section break continuous command.  The section break continuous is inserted above and below the columns information.

Check Your Page Breaks

The check and see where your page breaks are and what page breaks are inserted, change the view to draft. Draft view displays text and page breaks. It does not show graphics.

Turn the Show/Hide command on. This toggle button is an essential command while working with page breaks and section breaks. It indicates where the breaks are and what type of break has been inserted.

Printer and Pages

Do note your printer dictates the end result. What this means – a laser printer pushes the paper through and has little or no change to the outcome. A ink jet printer pulls the paper through and needs that little extra space at the bottom of the page. You may find that on a laser printer your document fits on a page whereas on an ink jet printer the last two or three lines are on the next page.

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