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.

9 comments
sandro619
sandro619

is there an equivalent in PPT?

louise.marshall
louise.marshall

Hail glnz for saying what I have believed for years ... Word is rubbish and WordPerfect rules when it comes to advanced word processing.

Xandr
Xandr

Hello recently when I attempt to save a document after input of text I click Ctrl+C and I get this message. Can work around it but its annoying. Is there somehow to prevent from occurring? Thank you a.xandr@gmail.com

mirossmac2
mirossmac2

The last mention of "nonbreaking space" should be to "nonbreaking hyphen" (why didn't Microsoft choose the hyphen for this purpose?).

stapleb
stapleb

It is good you added this tip Susan. I always show people nonbreaking spaces and hyphens because I think they are so important in giving you control of the presentation of your document. I also show them how to identify a space in Show/Hide but you are right the different types of hyphens are almost impossible to differentiate. For ginz, you are so right that in many things Word still lags behind WordPerfect, but you can highlight a number of paragraphs in Word and use the Keep Together option to stop the breaks occurring.

glnz
glnz

WordPerfect had "Block Protect", and Word does not. If I wanted always to keep the last two lines of a paragraph on the same page as the start of the following text, all I had to do in WordPerfect was to Select from the last word of such paragraph to the first word of the following text and designate "Block Protect" for the selection. (Or select more as needed.) That would achieve my goal. Word has nothing like that because "Keep with Next" and "Keep Lines Together" only work on entire paragraphs. One of the many, many, many ways in which Word in 2011 remains grossly inferior to WordPerfect in 1994. If you ever see Bill Gates with a black eye, it's because I finally had the chance to express my feelings about being stuck with Word the last 9 years.

glnz
glnz

Thanks, Louise. Sometimes I start up WordPerfect and look at Reveal Codes just to remember what it was like to have a word processor designed by literate people who understood the need for uniform simplicity. Whenever anyone mentions "Word Styles" to me, I think of all the FU'd legal documents I've had to fix -- because I am the only lawyer who has ever understood how Styles work -- and start to scream curses at Bill Gates.

fledis
fledis

As far as I know "Keep with next" keeps at least some lines of current paragraph on the same page as some lines of the next one. It would be whole paragraph together with the 2 first lines of the next one at the end of page or 2 last lines of current paragraph together with the whole next paragraph at the beginning of the next page- in case there is "Widow/orphan control" checked.

glnz
glnz

Dear fledis - You are correct - the entire paragraph jumps to the next page. That's one of the 51 Billion reasons - one for each dollar of Bill Gates's net worth -- why Word is junk compared to old WordPerfect.

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