#217 Keeping It All Together

My guess is that you’ve probably never given any thought to how Microsoft Word handles automatically wrapping text at the right margin and at break pages. Am I right? The reason you never think about it is because 99.9% of the time Word does a pretty good job of it. However, if you create very many documents, at some point you will want to do something different. Here are some simple tricks for ensuring that Word keeps your words and paragraphs together, exactly the way you want them be.

Helpful Tip: When working with these tips it will be MUCH easier if you display the non-printing characters in your document by clicking the Show/Hide Formatting button.

Non-breaking space

At the end of a line Word will try to put the line break between two words. There are some things that should never be split between lines of a paragraph. For example, you may want to keep names all together or things like Ph.D following a name. When this happens, insert a non-breaking space instead of a regular space between the words. For instance, you probably wouldn’t want the Ph.D following a name to wrap to the next line. To keep Ph.D with the name, enter a non-breaking space between the last name and Ph.D. You might even want to enter non-breaking spaces between each name and even a middle initial, to keep the entire name together.

Before:

After:

The symbols show below are the non-breaking spaces that will prevent these word from ever being split between two different lines of a paragraph.

To enter a non-breaking space, press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Spacebar].

Non-breaking hyphen

A non-breaking hyphen works the same way as a non-breaking space does, but with hyphenated words. If you don’t want Word to wrap at a hyphen character, enter a non-breaking hyphen instead. When the hyphenated word reaches the right margin, Word will wrap the entire word to the next line if necessary, rather than breaking at the hyphen.

To enter a – hyphen, press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[-]

Non-breaking paragraphs and lines

Sometimes you’ll want to prevent an entire paragraph from spanning across a page break between two pages. That is easily controlled by the paragraph options.

From the Format menu go to the Paragraph option and click the Line and Page Breaks tab.

Widow/Orphan control: Prevents a single line from appearing by itself at the top or bottom or a page.

Keep with next: Keeps this paragraph on the same page as the next one.

Keep lines together: Prevents a paragraph from breaking across a page.

Page break before: Forces this paragraph to start at the top of a page.

You can learn more about controlling the pagination of your documents here.

Have you ever encountered any of these situations? What other things in Word do you wrestle with? Drop me a note and let me know…or just be friendly and say hello. 8-D

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