Keep text together

You can often improve the look of your document by keeping certain words and paragraphs together on the page or across page breaks. Also, you can use hyphenation to improve overall readability.

Word automatically breaks the text at a space or a hyphen at the end of a line. To keep two words or a hyphenated word together on one line, you can use a nonbreaking space or nonbreaking hyphen instead of a regular space or hyphen.

  1. Click where you want to insert the nonbreaking space.

  2. On the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, click Symbol.

    On the Insert tab, click Symbol.
  3. In the box that opens, click More Symbols.

    The Symbol box, click More Symbols.
  4. In the Symbol dialog box, on the Special Characters tab, click the Nonbreaking Space row to highlight it, and then click Insert.

    On the "Special Characters" tab, click the "Nonbreaking Space" row to highlight it, and then click "Insert."
  5. Click Close.

    Tip: You can also use the keyboard shortcut. Click where you want to insert the nonbreaking space, and press Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar.

Sometimes you want a hyphenated word to stay together on one line, without it breaking across lines.

  1. Click where you want to insert the nonbreaking hyphen.

  2. On the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, click Symbol.

    On the Insert tab, click Symbol.
  3. In the box that opens, click More Symbols.

    The Symbol box, click More Symbols.
  4. In the Symbol dialog box, on the Special Characters tab, click the Nonbreaking Hyphen row to highlight it, and then click Insert.

    On the Special Characters tab, click the Nonbreaking Hyphen row to highlight it, and then click Insert.
  5. Click Close.

    Tip:  You can also use the keyboard shortcut. Click where you want to insert the nonbreaking hyphen, and press Ctrl+Shift+Minus Sign.

Word automatically breaks paragraphs at the end of a page, so a paragraph that started on one page continues on to the next page. To keep the whole paragraph on the same page, follow these steps.

  1. Right-click the paragraph that you want to keep together. In the box that opens, select Paragraph.

    Click the Paragraph option.
  2. In the Paragraph dialog box, click the Line and Page Breaks tab.

  3. In the Pagination section, select the Keep lines together check box, and click OK.

If two consecutive paragraphs or a subhead and a paragraph are closely related, you might want to keep them on the same page.

  1. Right-click the paragraph or subhead that you want to keep with the content that follows it. In the box that opens, select Paragraph.

    Click the Paragraph option.
  2. In the Paragraph dialog box, click the Line and Page Breaks tab.

  3. In the Pagination section, select the Keep lines together check box, and click OK.

    Tip: It’s best not to add additional line breaks between your paragraphs because Word interprets each line break as a beginning of a new paragraph, and page breaks might not occur properly. If you want spaces between paragraphs, use the Paragraph Spacing controls. For more information, see Change spacing between paragraphs.

If a paragraph has a page break in the middle so that only the last line appears at the top of the following page, this lonely line is called a “widow.” If, on the other hand, a paragraph has a page break in the middle so that only the first line appears at the bottom of a page while the rest of the paragraph appears on the next page, this lonely line is called an “orphan.”

If you want to avoid widow and orphan lines in your document, follow these steps.

  1. Right-click the paragraph in which you want to avoid widows and orphans. In the box that opens, select Paragraph.

  2. Click the Line and page breaks tab.

  3. In the Pagination section, select the Widow/Orphan control check box.

  4. Click OK.

If a word is too long to fit at the end of a line, Microsoft Office Word 2007 moves the word to the beginning of the next line instead of hyphenating it. However, you can use the Hyphenation feature to automatically or manually hyphenate the text, insert optional or nonbreaking hyphens, and set the maximum amount of space allowed between a word and the right margin without hyphenating the word.

With automatic hyphenation, Office Word 2007 automatically inserts hyphens where they are needed. If you edit the document later and change line breaks, Office Word 2007 will re-hyphenate the document.

  1. Make sure that no text is selected.

  2. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Hyphenation, and then click Automatic.

    Word Ribbon Image

An optional hyphen is a hyphen that is used to control where a word or phrase breaks if it falls at the end of a line. For example, you can specify that the word "nonprinting" breaks as "non-printing" instead of "nonprint-ing." When you insert an optional hyphen in a word that is not at the end of a line, the hyphen will be visible only if you turn on Show/Hide.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click Show/Hide.

    Word Ribbon image

  2. Click in the word where you want to insert the optional hyphen.

  3. Press CTRL+HYPHEN.

To automatically hyphenate part of a document, do the following:

  1. Select the text that you want to hyphenate.

  2. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Hyphenation, and then click Automatic.

    Word Ribbon Image

When you manually hyphenate text, Office Word 2007 searches for text to hyphenate. After you indicate where you want to hyphenate the text, Word inserts an optional hyphen. If you later edit the document and change line breaks, Office Word 2007 displays and prints only the optional hyphens that still fall at the end of lines. Word doesn't re-hyphenate the document.

  1. Select the text you want to hyphenate.

  2. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Hyphenation, and then click Manual.

  3. If Office Word identifies a word or phrase to hyphenate, do one of the following:

    • To insert an optional hyphen in the location that Office Word proposes, click Yes.

    • To insert an optional hyphen in another part of the word, move the insertion point to that location, and then click Yes.

Nonbreaking hyphens prevent hyphenated words, numbers, or phrases from breaking if they fall at the end of a line of text. For example, you can prevent 555-0123 from breaking; instead, the entire item will move to the beginning of the next line.

  1. Click where you want to insert a nonbreaking hyphen.

  2. Press CTRL+SHIFT+HYPHEN.

The hyphenation zone is the maximum amount of space Office Word 2007 allows between a word and the right margin without hyphenating the word. You can change the hyphenation zone to make it wider or narrower. To reduce the number of hyphens, make the hyphenation zone wide. To reduce the raggedness of the right margin, make the hyphenation zone narrower.

  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Hyphenation, and then click Hyphenation Options.

  2. In the Hyphenation zone, type the amount of space you want.

You can remove all automatic hyphenation and each instance of manual hyphenation, such as optional and nonbreaking hyphens.

  • To remove automatic hyphenation, on the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Hyphenation, and then click None.

Word Ribbon Image

  1. To remove manual hyphenation, on the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Replace.

  2. If you don't see the Special button, click More.

  3. Click Special, and then click either Optional Hyphen to remove manual hyphens, or Nonbreaking Hyphen to remove nonbreaking hyphens.

  4. Leave the Replace box empty.

  5. Click Fix Next, Replace, or Replace All.

See Also

Line and page breaks

Add a page break

Change spacing between paragraphs

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