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: Changing Sections.

Changing Sections

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 5, 2011)

Word allows you to divide a document into different layout areas called sections. Each section can be set up so that it starts on a new page, odd page, even page, or is continuous. (Choose Break from the Insert menu to see what types of section breaks are available.)

When you first start using sections, they might seem a bit confusing. For instance, you may have a document in which you have multiple sections, some formatted as Continuous breaks and other as New Page breaks. If you later delete some of your section breaks, it may seem that the section formatting is getting messed up. This is particularly true if you delete the last section break you find in a document.

Why this is happening is best explained by an example. Let's say you have a document in which there are three sections:

  • Section 1 is formatted as New Page
  • Section 2 is formatted as Continuous
  • Section 3 is formatted as New Page

You must remember that the formatting for each section is maintained in the section breaks at the end of each section. This might seem odd, since you can only see two section breaks in the document, even though there are three sections. In the example document, the following is true:

  • The formatting for Section 1 (New Page) is in the first section break.
  • The formatting for Section 2 (Continuous) is in the second section break.
  • The formatting for Section 3 (New Page) is in the implied section break that is always at the end of a document.

Note that there is an implied section break at the end of the document. This section break is not visible, of course, but it is nonetheless there, and contains formatting for the final section.

When you position your insertion point just before the second section break and press the Delete key, the section break is deleted. This deletes the section formatting for the second section, and the text in that section automatically is formatted according to what was in the third section. Thus, you end up with two sections, as follows:

  • Old Section 1 (New Page)
  • New Section 2 (old Section 3, still New Page)

It is easy to think that Word changed your Continuous section to a New Page section, but in reality Word did exactly what you told it to do: delete the second section. There really is no way to delete the final section (the implied section that is always there) in a document. Instead, you must change the formatting of that section so it reflects what you want.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1712) 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: Changing Sections.

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

Setting Default Print Margins

Don't like the print margins that Excel uses by default? You can change the default by changing the workbook on which Excel ...

Discover More

Saving AutoText Entries with Each Document

AutoText can be a great way to add consistent, common text to a document. Unfortunately you cannot save AutoText entries with ...

Discover More

Generating a Web Page

Want your worksheets to be available to others on the Internet? Excel provides a way you can save your data in HTML format, ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Squeezing Everything In

Do you have just a line or two of text that "spills over" onto another printed page? Here are some ways you can compress your ...

Discover More

Making Wider Footer Margins

Want the margins used in your footers (or headers) to be wider than the margins used in the rest of your document? There are ...

Discover More

Changing Page Orientation

Learn about different page orientations and how to change them.

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 one more than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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
Share