Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Keep with Previous.

Keep with Previous

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 28, 2013)

2

Do you ever wish Word had a "keep with previous" setting for paragraphs? Such a setting would come in handy for paragraphs that need to always fall at the end of a section, and cannot appear at the top of a page by themselves. Word, however, has no such setting; it only has a "keep with following" setting.

The way that most people get around this problem is to make special "end of sequence" paragraph styles that have the requisite "keep with next" setting. For instance, let's say that your regular paragraphs are formatted with a style called Policy, and that the final paragraph at the end of the section is called "Effective Date." It is this last paragraph that you want to always be kept with the previous paragraph.

The workaround is to create a new style called "Policy Last" that is based on the Policy style. The only difference is that "Policy Last" has the "keep with following" setting turned on. This style would then be applied to the paragraph just before the "Effective Date" paragraph. Thus, you would have several paragraphs formatted as Policy, one formatted as "Policy Last," and then the final formatted as "Effective Date." The result is that the effective date always stays with the previous paragraph. (Well, vice versa, but the effect is the same.)

If you have many documents that you need to format in this manner, you might consider creating a macro to do the formatting for you. All the macro needs to do is to step through the document, checking the style of each paragraph. When it finds a paragraph formatted with "Effective Date," it backs up a paragraph and, if that paragraph is formatted with the Policy style, changes it to "Policy Last."

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (239) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Keep with Previous.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Merging Table Cells

Want to create cells that span multiple columns or multiple rows? You do this in Word by merging cells together. Here's how ...

Discover More

Conditional Formatting

One of the powerful features of Excel is the ability to format a cell based on the contents of that cell or another. It is ...

Discover More

Merging Custom Dictionaries

It is possible to develop a custom dictionary on your computer that reflects the types of documents with which you work most ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Adding Tabs at the Beginning of a Line

Press a tab at the beginning of a paragraph, and Word normally assumes you want to indent the paragraph. If you don't like ...

Discover More

Centering a Paragraph with the Keyboard

Need a quick shortcut that you can use to center your paragraph between the margins? The answer is here.

Discover More

Indent and Justify Command

WordPerfect users are familiar with the F4 command, which indents and justifies a paragraph. Word does not have an equivalent ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 7?

2016-09-29 04:33:43

Neil

"Keep With Previous" is a feature that has been requested as far back as when they were still on Word 2003 but they did not listen.

It is more useful than "Keep With Next" as usually you want a heading followed by a list or table and you want all this on a single page.

You only want to break after the table and you actually turn OFF keep with next on the last item, but you have to know it will be the last item, and that makes it difficult if you want to modify the document and add more items after the last one.

Keep Lines Together works if you put in line-breaks rather than paragraph breaks, but then we don't want to do that (especially if it's a bulleted list or a table).


2014-03-11 03:15:23

Saltamonte

Would anyone know how a general macro of that type could be created? I might be able to figure out how to do it with one paragraph at a time (useless, since Keep with Next would do the same job), but a macro that would allow me to select multiple, non-consecutive paragraphs and keep each one with the paragraph directly above it in the document, would be quite helpful.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing