This article describes the types of section breaks
available in Word and their uses.
When you start a document, there are no section breaks
because the entire document consists of one section. A section break is the
point at which you end one section and begin another because you want some
aspect of page formatting to change.
You can divide a document into
any number of sections and format each section the way that you want.
Throughout this article, keep in mind that a section break acts as an embedded
code that stores or maintains the properties of the section above it.
For tips about using section breaks, refer to the "Section Break
Tips" section of this article.
Section and page properties include
the following settings:
Page Orientation (Portrait/Landscape)
Headers & Footers
It is recommended that when you are working with section breaks
you turn on Show/Hide
. To do this, follow these steps:
- On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the View tab.
- Under Formatting Marks, click to select the All check box.
- Click OK.
Using section breaks
To create a new section, click the Break
command on the Insert
menu. In Normal view, Word displays a double dotted line and the
words Section Break (Type of Section Break)
to indicate a
section break and its type. The line is not printed.
The breaks and
their purposes are described in the following table.
||Word breaks the page at the section break. The new section starts on the next page. Use this section break if you want to apply different page numbers, headers and footers, orientation, vertical alignment, or paper size to the sections in the document.
||Word inserts a section break and begins the new section on the same page. If the two sections have different settings for page size or orientation, the new section begins a new page even if you select Continuous. Use this section break if you want to have different column formatting or margins on the same page. If there are multiple columns in the previous section, Word balances the columns above the section break and then fills out the page with the new section.
||Word begins the new section on the next odd-numbered page. This section break is often used for chapters that begin on odd-numbered pages.
NOTE: If the section break falls on an odd-numbered page, Word leaves the intervening even-numbered page blank.
||Similar to Odd Page, but Word begins the new section on the next even-numbered page.
To insert a section break
- Click where you want to start a new section.
- On the Insert menu, click Break.
- Under Section Breaks, select the option that describes the section break that you
- Click OK.
Determining the type of section break
In Word, the type of section break is shown on your screen, in
parentheses, after the words Section Break. This is not where the properties of
that section break are stored. The properties for the type of section break
indicated on the screen are stored in the next section break (which may have a
different type of section break indicated). If there is no additional section
break in your document, the properties for that section break are stored in the
last paragraph mark of the document. The section breaks act as an embedded code
that stores or maintains the properties of the section above it.
example, suppose you have a one-page document and half-way down the page you
insert an Odd Page
section break, and farther into your document, on Page 1, you
insert a Next Page
section break. In Normal view, you see the following:
::::::::::::::::::::::Section Break (Odd Page):::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
::::::::::::::::::::::Section Break (Next Page)::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
If you place your insertion point above Section Break
, the status bar shows Page 1 Sec 1.
, it indicates that the section is New Page
. (See note below.)
If you place your insertion point
between Section Break (Odd Page)
and Section Break (Next Page)
, the status bar
shows Page 3 Sec 2.
If you place your insertion point below
Section Break (Next Page)
, the status bar shows Page 4 Sec 3.
The settings for this section break are stored in the last paragraph mark of
the document (because there are no more section breaks in the document).
To see the actual properties for any of the sections in this
example, follow these steps:
- Click above the section break for which you want to view
- On the File menu, click Page Setup, and then click the Layout tab.
Section Start indicates the type of section break, for example, Odd Page.
The settings for the section break are stored in the
section break below where your insertion point is located or as shown on the
Note A section break indicated on your screen as Next Page is defined as New Page on the Layout tab of the Properties dialog box.
To delete a section break
For more information about deleting and troubleshooting section breaks, click Microsoft Word Help
on the Help
menu, type Section Break
in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search
to view the topics returned.
Section break tips
For additional information about section breaks, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Continuous section break becomes next-page break in Landscape