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 June 10, 2017)

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 the Calculation Default

Excel can recalculate your worksheets either automatically or manually. The default is to calculate them automatically, ...

Discover More

Making All Lines in a Paragraph the Same Height

If the line spacing in a paragraph appears uneven it may result of the combination of a larger character or object pasted ...

Discover More

Read-Only Embedded Fonts

If you receive a document from somebody else, you might not be able to edit it if the document contains fonts that you ...

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)

Changing Page Margins

Part of determining page layout is to specify the size of the margins that surround the text on a page. Word allows you ...

Discover More

Understanding the Gutter Margin

Most everyone knows that Word allows you to set top, bottom, left, and right margins for your document. There is another ...

Discover More

Unable to Set Margins in a Document

If you find that you cannot set the margins in a document, chances are good that it is due to document corruption. Here's ...

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

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 0 + 7?

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


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.