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Eliminate unwanted blank Word pages with pagination formatting

Different printers paginate differently -- which could cause a problem if you e-mail your Word documents to different people. Here's how to use pagination formatting to ensure that your work plays out just as you intended on a printer across the room or across the globe.

You just sent your Word document to a colleague in another office. When she prints out the document on her computer, the pages break at odd places; it even prints out a blank page in the middle of the document. When you print it out on your printer, however, it prints perfectly. What could have caused these pagination errors? Different printers paginate differently. You can avoid many of these pagination errors by eliminating manual page breaks in your document. Instead, use pagination formatting.

For example, to type a bibliography on its own page, you could click after the last paragraph of your document and press [Ctrl][Enter] to set a manual page break -- or, to use pagination formatting, follow these steps:

  1. Begin typing your bibliography in the line immediately after the last paragraph of your document.
  2. Click in the first line of your bibliography.
  3. Go to Format | Paragraph. (In Word 2007, click the Home tab, and then in the Paragraph group, click the Dialog Launcher.)
  4. In the Paragraph dialog box, click on the Line And Page Breaks tab.
  5. Click the Page Break Before check box, then click OK.

Pagination formatting also lets you keep two paragraphs together on the same page, as well as all lines of a single paragraph on the same page. To use pagination formatting to keep all lines of a paragraph together, follow these steps:

  1. Click in the paragraph.
  2. Go to Format | Paragraph. (In Word 2007, click the Home tab, and then in the Paragraph group, click the Dialog Launcher.)
  3. In the Paragraph dialog box, click the Line And Page Breaks tab.
  4. Click the Keep Lines Together check box, then click OK.

To keep two paragraphs together on the same page, follow these steps:

  1. Click in the paragraph.
  2. Go to Format | Paragraph. (In Word 2007, click the Home tab, and then in the Paragraph group, click the Dialog Launcher.)
  3. In the Paragraph dialog box, click the Line And Page Breaks tab.
  4. Click the Keep With Next check box, then click OK.

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4 comments
richstgmgr
richstgmgr

How can I eliminate a blank page at the end of a document? This usually happens when I've inserted a table and the table info fills up the page. (A recent example is a page full of my business cards.) A new blank page is created, and no matter what I do, I can't get it to disappear. HELP!!

richstgmgr
richstgmgr

Greatly appreciated. I should have thought of your solutions, but didn't, somehow.

mlusk
mlusk

This happens because a document has to end with a paragraph marker. Since it is usually the "normal" style (10 or 12 points), it can jump to another page. Format that last paragraph marker to 1 pt. with no paragraph space above or below it. This should do the trick. If it doesn't, you may have to adjust the page margins to allow room for the tiny marker.

mhudnall
mhudnall

I've run into this problem, too, on occasion. Suggestions: Pull the empty paragraph on the blank page up to the previous page by reducing the height of your table: Adjust column widths in the table to control wrapping, reduce font size of text in the table, or make pictures/graphics in your table smaller. Adjust the margins of your document slightly to provide room for the table and the end paragraph. Reduce the font size of the last paragraph to 1 or 2. Good luck!

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