Whenever you use Microsoft Word to write something, the default page orientation is “Portrait”, and that’s what you’ll see in most documents. Still, some content looks better if written using the “Landscape” orientation, and it’s not difficult to set the entire document to follow that format. However, what happens if you only need one page to be landscape rather than the entire thing?
For instance, you might have a document with several pages of standard text and one page that has a table with a lot of columns – the table could really benefit from the landscape orientation, while the rest of text needs to keep the default orientation. Of course, the table is just an example, and this can apply to any kind of on-page content.
Whatever your particular case may be, the good news is that you can switch the orientation of individual pages within a Word document. The process simply requires you to make use of a formatting feature called “Section Breaks”. There are two ways to do this, and this article will provide an easy-to-follow guide to both.
Method 1: Manually Inserting Section Breaks
For the purposes of explaining this method, let’s assume you have a four-page document and only want the second page to have the landscape orientation.
Start by clicking the very beginning of page two – the blinking cursor should be in the top-left corner of that page (as much as the margins will allow it). Now, click the “Page Layout” tab in the ribbon menu in the upper-left part of your screen. Next, click the “Breaks” icon – it looks like two pages with a bit of space between them.
A new submenu will appear, and here you need to select “Next Page”. You’ve now created the first section break in your document.
The next step also takes place in the “Page Layout” tab. However, you now need to click the “Orientation” icon and select “Landscape”.
You will now see a major change in your document – everything after the section break you’ve made (meaning pages two, three, and four) will have the landscape orientation. This is a step in the right direction, but it’s not what we want – we only want the second page to be this way.
So, we need to create one more section break. Click the beginning of the third page and follow the same procedure to insert another section break. Then, go to the “Orientation” menu once again, but this time change it back to “Portrait” – this is the last step you need to take.
You will now see that the second page of your document has the landscape orientation, while everything else is portrait. What we’ve done here is isolate page two with the use of section breaks. That way, the landscape orientation only applies to this page and not the whole document.
If you want to take a better look at where your section breaks are, you need to enable the option to show formatting marks. To do this, go to the “Home” tab and find the “pilcrow” symbol in the “Paragraph” section – it looks a bit like a reverse P/lowercase q.
Click on it, and Word will display all formatting marks, including section breaks. You will now see exactly where each section begins and ends.
Method 2: Without Manually Inserting Section Breaks
The second method might be a bit easier as you don’t need to insert the section breaks yourself – you can let Word do that.
Start by using selecting the portion of the text that you want to have displayed in landscape orientation. While it is highlighted, go to the “Page Layout” tab and look at the “Page Setup” section – this is the same as with the previous method. However, you now need to click the little icon in its bottom-right corner which will open the full “Page Setup” menu.
In here, look under “Orientation” and select “Landscape”. Now, look at the bottom of this box and you’ll see a submenu labeled “Apply to”. Click the little arrow and choose “Selected text”. Then, just hit OK.
You will now see that Word has put the section you’ve highlighted onto a separate page and applied the landscape orientation only to it.
Mixing the Two Page Orientations
Combining the portrait and landscape orientations can be a great way to accommodate different types of content within the same Word document. As you can see, you’ll need to dig through a few menus to achieve this, but both of these methods are easy to do once you wrap your mind around them.
In the end, this probably won’t be something you’ll use too often, but it can be a very neat trick when the situation calls for it. Now that you know how to pull this off, what will you be using it for?