Dawn Bjork Buzbee
The Software Pro®
Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)
Certified Microsoft Office 2010 Specialist (MOS 2010) Master Instructor
Certified Microsoft Office 2007 Specialist (MOS 2007) Master Instructor
Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) Instructor
Certified Microsoft Office Expert
Certified Women's Business Enterprise (WBE)
WOSB (Women-Owned Small Business) Certified
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Most of the time, we want text in a Microsoft Word document to
automatically wrap text, that is, to move to the next line when it is
too long. Word wrap is great except when it breaks up text we want to
stay together such as dates, names, phone numbers, phrases, formulas,
titles or other text that should stay together. Fortunately, Word has
some easy ways to keep text together.
Some examples of text you might want to keep together and not break
up to separate lines:
- August 2, 2011
- Christopher A. Jones, Ph.D.
- (555) 123-4567
Non-Breaking Spaces & Non-Breaking Hyphens
The common solution: what most people do to keep text together
is move to the beginning of the text and press [Enter] to start a
new line. This is fine until any of the text changes and causes breaks
in the wrong place.
The right solution: keep text together with special
characters. Specifically, replace normal spaces and hyphens with
non-breaking spaces or non-breaking hyphens (Word 2010, Word 2007, Word
2003, Word 2002):
- Non-breaking space: [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Spacebar]
- Non-breaking hyphen: [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Hyphen]
As the name implies, non-breaking characters connect the text
together and it will all automatically move to the next line together
but only as needed.
Non-Breaking Paragraphs And Lines
Next, let's go one step further. When you don’t want a paragraph or
even several lines of text to break between two pages, do the following:
- Select the paragraph or section of text you want to keep
- On the Home tab in Word 2010 or Word 2007, click the
Paragraph group’s dialog launcher (the small arrow at the
bottom-right. In Word 2003 (and earlier), choose Paragraph
from the Format menu.
- Pick the Line and Page Breaks tab.
- Check the Keep Lines together option, and click OK.
- If you have multiple paragraphs selected, also click on Keep
with next which will keep the paragraphs together on the same page.
To find non-breaking spaces and non-breaking hyphens in your text,
use the Find feature as follows:
- On the Home tab, click the Find dropdown in the Editing
group. In Word 2003 (and earlier), choose Find from the
Edit menu. You can also press the [Ctrl] + F shortcut for
- In the Find What control, enter one of the following: ^s
to find non-breaking space; ^~ to find non-breaking hyphens.
- In Word 2003, click Find Next.
To view non-breaking space and hyphen characters in a document, click
Show/Hide in the Paragraph group (Home tab). In Word 2003
(and earlier), pick the Show/Hide icon on the Standard toolbar.
Word represents non-breaking space characters with a degree symbol (°)
and non-breaking space characters with a double‑length hyphen (these are
a bit harder to distinguish from regular text).
© Dawn Bjork Buzbee, MCT, The Software Pro®
Dawn Bjork Buzbee
is The Software Pro®
and a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) as well as a certified Microsoft Office
Specialist (MOS) Master Instructor, certified Microsoft Applications Specialist
(MCAS) Instructor, and a certified Microsoft Office expert. Dawn shares smart
and easy ways to effectively use software through her work as a software
speaker, trainer, consultant, and author of 8 books.
This article and
more can be reprinted at no charge in your publications and website with
copyright and attribution.
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Keep words together with a
non-breaking space. Press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Spacebar]
|You can also create
a non-breaking hyphen with this shortcut: [Ctrl] + [Shift] +