Software

Three simple ways to keep Word text together

Word wraps text and breaks text between pages automatically. However, when you want to keep text together, use special characters.

You probably let Word wrap text at the right margin and break pages, on its own. A lot of works goes into that decision, under the hood, and Word does a good job most of the time. There are times, however, when you'll want to keep words and text together. Fortunately, Word has some easy methods for keeping text together.

Nonbreaking space

Just because there's a space between two words doesn't mean it's Okay to break the pair up. There are just some things you'll want words to appear on the same line. When this happens, insert a nonbreaking 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 nonbreaking space between the last name and Ph.D. You might even want to enter nonbreaking spaces between each name and even a middle initial, to keep the entire name together.

To enter a nonbreaking space, press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Spacebar].

Nonbreaking hyphen

A nonbreaking hyphen is, in purpose, the same as a nonbreaking space, but it works with hyphenated words. If you don't want Word to wrap at a hyphen character, enter a nonbreaking 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 nonbreaking hypen, press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[-].

Nonbreaking paragraphs and lines

When you don't want a paragraph or even several lines of text to break between two pages, do the following:

  1. On the Home tab, click the Paragraph group's dialog launcher (the small arrow at the bottom-right. In Word 2003, choose Paragraph from the Format menu.
  2. Click the Line and Page Breaks tab.
  3. Check the Keep Lines together option, and click OK.

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Extras

To find nonbreaking spaces and nonbreaking hyphens in your text, use the Find feature as follows:

  1. On the Home tab, click the Find dropdown in the Editing group. In Word 2003, choose Find from the Edit menu.
  2. In the Find What control, enter one of the following: ^s to find nonbreaking space; ^~ to find nonbreaking hyphens.
  3. In Word 2003, click Find Next.

To view nonbreaking space and hyphen characters in a document, click Show/Hide in the Paragraph group (Home tab). In Word 2003, Show/Hide is on the Standard toolbar. Word represents nonbreaking space characters with a degree symbol (°) and nonbreaking space characters with a double‑length hyphen (these are a tad harder to distinguish from regular text).

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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