How To Remove Page Breaks in Word
Microsoft Word is the venerable yet still incredibly powerful word processing software that is more or less the standard for Windows document creation. One of the features of Microsoft Word is “page breaks”, instructions within a document that tell a printer or a PDF conversion that the document should start a new page at a particular point. Whenever the printer encounters a page break, it will print a new page. MS Word documents can include both automatic and manual page breaks. Sometimes a document can accumulate a large number of unnecessary page breaks, often as a result of converting a document from another format. In this article, I will show you several ways in which you can remove page breaks in Microsoft Word.
Manually Delete Page Breaks
The simplest way, and the way that most Word users most frequently employ, to eliminate page breaks is just to manually delete them. You can put the cursor on a page break directly and use the Del key on the keyboard, or select an area of the document containing one or more page breaks and use the Del key, or right-click on the document and select Cut. In order to see exactly where page breaks are located, press the Show/Hide button on Word’s Home tab. (It’s the button in the Paragraph pane that looks like a fancy backwards “P”.) That reveals all the manually inserted page breaks within a document as shown in the snapshot directly below.
Then click the margin beside a page break’s dotted line to select one break. Alternatively, you can select multiple page breaks in a document by dragging the cursor over them. Press the Del key to erase the page breaks from the document.
Remove Page Breaks with the Find and Replace Tool
It might take quite a while to manually delete lots of page breaks from a long document. Find and Replace is a handy Word tool that enables users to find and replace text within a document. You can also utilize that tool to quickly find and delete all manually inserted page breaks.
To open the Find and Replace window, click the Home tab. Click the Replace option on the Home tab to open Find and Replace. Alternatively, press Ctrl + H to open it.
Press the More >> button to expand the options on the window. Then click the Replace tab, which includes Find what and Replace with fields. Enter ‘^m’ in the Find what field, and press the Replace All button. That will erase all the manual page breaks.
Remove Page Breaks with a Macro
MS Word includes a macro tool with which you can record a sequence of selected options. Alternatively, you can set up macros by entering Visual Basic code in the Module windows. You can create a macro that removes all page breaks, save it, and be able to access it again anytime you need it without having to mess around in menus.
To set up a new macro, press the F11 key to open Word’s Visual Basic Editor. Then click the Insert tab and select Module to open a Module window. Select the VBA code below and press Ctrl + C to copy it.
.Text = “^m”
.Replacement.Text = “”
.Forward = True
.Wrap = wdFindContinue
.Format = False
.MatchCase = False
.MatchWholeWord = False
.MatchByte = False
.MatchAllWordForms = False
.MatchSoundsLike = False
.MatchWildcards = False
.MatchFuzzy = False
Press Ctrl + V to paste the above VBA code in the Module window. Then you can click the Run button to play the macro. The macro will delete the manually inserted page breaks in the document.
Adjust the Line and Page Breaks Settings
You can’t delete automatically inserted page breaks. However, you can adjust Word’s pagination settings to reduce the number of automatic page breaks. First, highlight a few passages or lines in a Word document with the cursor. Select the Home tab, and then click the expanded options icon to open the window in the snapshot directly below.
Now click the Line and Page Break tab to open the options shown directly below. There you can select a Keep with next option to eliminate page breaks between the selected paragraphs. Alternatively, click Keep lines together to ensure there are no page breaks in the middle of passages. Don’t select the Page break before option, that adds breaks to documents. Click the OK button to apply the new settings.
Fix Page Breaks that aren’t Deleting
Are there any manual breaks in your Word documents that you still can’t delete? If so, it might be the case that Track Changes is on. Track Changes highlights adjustments made to a Word document. However, you can’t erase page breaks with Track Changes on. To switch Track Changes off, click the Review tab. Press the Track Changes button if it’s illuminated. Alternatively, you can press the Ctrl + Shift + E hotkey to switch Track Changes on or off. Thereafter, press the Next button to go through proposed adjustments for the document. Then you can delete the manually inserted page breaks.
Removing manual page breaks from documents can save paper by reducing the amount of blank space left on printed output, so it’s worth checking if your Word documents include superfluous page breaks. If they do, you can quickly erase them with Word’s Find and Replace tool or a VBA macro. The Kutools for Word add-on also includes a handy Remove All Breaks option.
Have any other clever ways to get rid of page breaks within Microsoft Word? Share them with us below!