What happens when you delete a section break

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SUMMARY

When you delete a section break in Microsoft Word, you may receive unexpected results.

This article describes what happens when you delete a section break within a Word document. Throughout this article, keep in mind that a section break acts as an embedded code that stores or maintains the properties of the section above it.

When you work with section breaks, you should display non-printing characters. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the View tab.
  2. Under Formatting marks, click to select the All check box.
  3. Click OK.

DETERMINING THE TYPE OF SECTION BREAK

In Word 2000, the type of section break is shown on your screen, in parentheses, after the words Section Break. This is not where the properties of that section break are stored. The properties for the type of section break indicated on the screen are stored in the next section break (which may have a different type of section break indicated). If there are no additional section breaks in your document, then the properties for that section break are stored in the last paragraph mark of the document. The section breaks act as an embedded code that stores or maintains the properties of the section above it.

For example, if you have a one-page document and half way down the page you insert an odd page section break, and then further into your document on page 1, you insert a Next Page Section Break, in normal view, you see the following:
Section Break (Odd Page)

Section Break (Next Page)
If you place the insertion point above Section Break (Odd Page), the status bar shows: Page 1 Sec 1. To see the actual properties for the first section, click Page Setup on the File menu, and then click the Layout tab. Under Section start, Word indicates that the section is New page. The settings for this section break are stored in the section break below where the insertion point is located, or as shown on the screen, Section Break (Odd Page).

If you place the insertion point between Section Break (Odd Page) and Section Break (Next Page), the status bar shows: Page 3 Sec 2. To see the actual properties for the second section, click Page Setup on the File menu, and then click the Layout tab. Under Section start, Word indicates that the section is Odd page. The settings for this section break are stored in the section break below where your insertion point is located, or as shown on the screen, Section Break (Next Page).

If you place the insertion point below Section Break (Next Page), the status bar shows: Page 4 Sec 3. To see the actual properties for the third section, click Page Setup on the File menu, and then click the Layout tab. Under Section start, Word indicates that the section is New page. The settings for this section break are stored in the last paragraph mark of the document (because there are no more section breaks in the document).

NOTE: A section break indicated on your screen as Next page will be defined as New Page on the Layout tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

This means that if you delete the last section break shown on the screen as Section Break (Next Page), the formatting of section 2 (Odd Page) will change to the formatting of section 3 (Next Page); therefore, the odd page section is gone and on the screen, the Section Break (Next Page) is correctly shown. In effect, the Odd page section break was deleted and the attributes of the last section (Next page) were applied to the information above the deleted section break.

NOTE: The section break may not be updated in the document until you perform a screen refresh. To do this, change the view of the document or use the scroll bar to scroll past the section break, and then back up again.

DELETING A SECTION BREAK

When you delete a section break, you also delete the section formatting for the text above it. That text becomes part of the section that follows it, and it assumes the formatting of that section.

To delete a section break in Word 2000, follow these steps:
  1. On the View menu, click Normal.

    The section break is represented by a double dotted line with the words "Section Break (Type)" in the center.
  2. Select the section break and press the DELETE key on your keyboard.

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Article ID: 303333 - Last Review: December 1, 2004 - Revision: 1.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbinfo kbformat KB303333

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