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How to insert a section break in Microsoft Word

If you want to arrange your pages in a Word document, you can learn how to insert a section break in Microsoft Word. It divides your document into sections, which gives structure and looks organized. Use section breaks to change the layout or formatting in one section of your document. There are different types of sections. We will show you how to insert a continuous and next page section break in Word and explain the differences.

Types of section breaks in Microsoft Word

There are four types of section breaks in Microsoft Word. We will explain how to insert these different section breaks in Word. You can add a section break in all Word versions from 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019.

Use a section break when you want to divide a page into columns or have a different layout than the rest of the document. For example, one section can have page numbers in Arabic, while other sections use Roman numerals. So you can have different page number formatting, margins, and columns in each section. If this type of structure is what you are looking for, you need to insert section breaks in Word.

Show or hide section breaks

Before we start doing anything, we need to be able to view the section breaks in a Word document. A section break is invisible, meaning you can’t see it in normal view (print layout). When you want to modify or remove a section break, you must view all paragraph marks. Read this article to remove section breaks in Word.

Follow the steps to view section breaks:

  • Go to the Home tab
  • In the Paragraph group > Click on the icon

Or use the keyboard shortcut to view paragraph marks:

  • Ctrl + (
show paragraph marks

Insert a next page section break

If you want a section break to start on the next page, then you need to follow the steps below. Here you will insert a section break where the text will begin on a new page.

Steps to insert a next page section break in Microsoft Word:

  1. Place your cursor where you want the section to start
  2. Click on the Layout tab in the ribbon
  3. Click on Breaks
    • It will open a selection menu
  4. Under Section Breaks > Select Next Page
Insert a next page section break in MS Word

Remember that you can delete a section break in Word, but it will remove all of its formatting and adapt the layout of the next section. In our example, the text moved to the next page, as shown in the picture below. On the first page, you can see which type of section break you inserted. It is only visible because we turned the paragraph marks on from the beginning.

Insert a next page section break in Microsoft Word

Insert a continuous section break

It is also possible to start a new section break on the same page. It is the only option if you want the text to continue on the same page.

Steps to insert a continuous section break in Microsoft Word:

  • Place your cursor where you want the section to start
  • Click on the Layout tab in the ribbon
  • Click on Breaks
    • It will open a selection menu
  • Under Section Breaks > Select Continuous
Insert continuous section break in word document

Now you added a section break on the same page. Use the continuous section page break when changing the number of columns on a page. You can see the type of section break on the document, as shown in the picture below.

Add an continuous section break word

Even page section break

Each long document has many page numbers, including even and odd numbers. The even numbers are 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc. When inserting an even page section break, it starts on the next even page. An example could be that you add a section break on page 2, which moves the next section break to start on page 4. It means that page 3 remains blank.

How to add an even page section break in Word:

  • Place your cursor where you want the section to start
  • Click on the Layout tab in the ribbon
  • Click on Breaks
    • It will open a selection menu
  • Under Section Breaks > Select Even Page
How to insert an even section page break in MS Word

In the example below, we inserted an even page section break on page 2. Word will automatically move the section to the next even page. As you can see, there is no page 3 because the text moved to page 4, which is the following even page number.

How to insert an even section page break in MS Word

Odd page section break

As we have explained before, each long document has even and odd number pages. Odd numbers are 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc. The new section break starts on the next odd page. So if you insert a section break on page 1, it will start the next section break on page 3 in your document, leaving page 2 blank.

How to add an odd page section break in Word:

  • Place your cursor where you want the section to start
  • Click on the Layout tab in the ribbon
  • Click on Breaks
    • It will open a selection menu
  • Under Section Breaks > Select Odd page
How to insert an odd section page break in MS Word

In the example below, we inserted an odd page break on page 1, which shifted the text to page 3 as it is the following odd number. You can also see that page number 2 is invisible, thus blank.

How to insert an odd section page break in Word

Conclusion

You can add section breaks to have a more structured and organized Word document. Section breaks allow you to have different page properties, such as other page numbering, margins, or columns for each section. First, you need to view all paragraph marks to see section breaks. Now you know how to insert and add four types of section breaks in Microsoft Word.

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