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Word automatically inserts soft page breaks as necessary to paginate your documents. It does the space on the amount of space available on each page for text according to your margin settings and the page size as well as formatting options set for paragraphs of text. Now in Draft View you could see page breaks as blue lines across the page. Let's go to Draft View and I'll scroll down and you can see here's a page break right here. In Print Layout View each page is shown individually with margins, making page breaks even more obvious.
So you could see here are the margins in Print Layout View and if I scroll down a little bit, you'll see the bottom of the page and where the page ends and the next page begins. That's pretty obvious. I call these page breaks soft page breaks, because as you edit and reformat text they can change automatically. After all only so much text can fit on a page. If you insert or delete blocks of text, the page break shifts. Now sometimes you might want to page break somewhere other than where Word puts it, you can manually insert your own page breaks.
I call these page breaks hard page breaks because once you insert them they remain there until deleted. If the document contents change, hard page breaks will stay right where they are. For this reason you might want to insert manual page breaks when you're finished editing and formatting your document and review them before printing. In addition to page breaks you can also insert section breaks. A section break divides a document into multiple sections, each of which can have its own document formatting settings. Section breaks can start new pages, odd pages, or even pages, or they could just make a break in the middle of a page for some other purpose.
And we'll learn more about section breaks and page breaks by experimenting with them. We'll start with a page break. Suppose I want to end the first page right after the paragraph that ends with the word "thinking." So let me scroll down here to find that. And there is the word thinking right here. I want that to be at the end of the page. I position the insertion point at the beginning of the next paragraph. Then I can pull-down the Insert menu, choose Break, and then Page Break or I can go on the Layout Ribbon and I can use this menu right here. I'll pull-down menu and choose Page.
The page break is inserted and the following paragraph moves to the next page. All other automatic page breaks after that point are readjusted. Now you can view a manually inserted page break with non-printing characters displayed. So let me turn that on and you'll see all the non-printing characters including this Page Break right here. This is also the easiest way to delete a manual page break. Just select it like you'd select any other type of text, I've just clicked out here in the selection bar, and press Delete and it goes away.
You insert a section break pretty much the same way. Suppose I want to start a new section up here on the first page right at the beginning of the Multimedia Data section. I can position the insertion point right at the beginning of that section right before the heading and then I can pull- down this Break menu and I can look at the different section break options available to me. Let's take a look at them here. There are four kinds of section breaks. Next Page starts a new page just like a page break would. Continuous puts a break-in, but doesn't start a new page.
Even Page starts a new even-numbered page. In this example if I put an Even Page section break on page 1, the page after the section break would be page 2 since that's the next even page. Odd Page starts a new odd-numbered page. In this example, if I put an Odd Page section break on page 1, the page after the section break would be page 3 since that's the next odd page. There basically wouldn't be a page 2. Now, in this example I want to continuous break, because I don't want to start a new page at all.
So I'll choose Continuous here and the break is inserted in the document, because I've got non-printing character turned on you can see it right here. I want to another section break just like that one near the end of the document. So I'll just scroll down to the end and I want it to appear right before the Conclusion. That's right here. So I'll position the insertion point in front of the word Conclusion, pull down that Break menu, choose Continuous, and you'll see the break is inserted. Now this document has three sections that are created by two section breaks.
As you can see, you can use the same basic technique to insert either a page break or one of the four different kinds of section breaks. While a section break can also be a page break, it doesn't have to be. The main purpose of a section break is to divide a document into separate sections, although it can be used to force an odd or even-numbered page. Generally speaking, if your document doesn't need separate sections, use page breaks instead of section breaks to start a new page.
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