Insert page breaks in Word 2010 documents (manually or automatically)

The most intuitive way to separate pages (force your text or a section to start on another page) is to hit Enter (new empty paragraphs) or Shift+Enter (new blank lines) several times; the problem with that approach is that whenever you have to add new content above that manual break (you always will!), the entire formatting of your Microsoft Word document fails. Like earlier versions, Word 2010 includes a page breaks / section breaks command that takes care of all the heavy lifting behind the scenes, so you no longer have to worry about unwanted "white space" in the middle of a page. In this tutorial, we'll explain how to manually add a page break to your document, remove page breaks, and how to automatically add page breaks when needed e.g., before a paragraph, a table, etc. (Learn more about section breaks.)


Manually add a page break

Follow these simple steps to add a manual page break in a Word 2010 document:

Tip: to clearly see page breaks in your document, ensure that you are working in "Print Layout" view; in the status bar (horizontal strip at the bottom of the window), the leftmost icon should be selected; next section covers showing symbols.
Switch to Print Layout in Microsoft Word 2010When your print a document, each page break forces using a new sheet of paper.

Remove a page break

There are two ways to delete page breaks after the fact: the easy way is to hit the Backspace key on your keyboard when you are directly at the top of the page that follows the break. If you are concerned about unwittingly deleting other content, proceed as follows instead:

And you will now see the content of the next page appear right after the page break you just deleted.

Tip: press Ctrl+Shift+8 (or Ctrl+*) to toggle the visibility of non-printing characters like page break symbols. see our "Hide / show paragraph marks and other hidden formatting symbols" tutorial for more info and customization options.

Automatically insert page breaks

Word 2010 lets you to customize how paragraphs break in your document; namely, by avoiding "widow paragraphs" (a single, last line of text showing at the top of a page) and "orphan paragraphs" (a single, first line of text appearing at the bottom of a page). A tutorial on managing styles and templates in Word will re-cover this topic as applied to custom style definitions. For now, just follow these steps:

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