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What happens when you delete a section break

This article was previously published under Q180258
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
SUMMARY
When you delete a section break in Microsoft Word, you may receiveunexpected results.

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

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

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the View tab.
  2. Under Non Printing Characters, click to select All.
  3. Click OK.

Determining the Type of Section Break

Word 97 for Windows

In Word 97 for Windows, the type of section break is shown on your screen,in parentheses, after the words Section Break. This is not where theproperties of that section break are stored. The properties for the type ofsection break indicated on the screen are stored in the next section break(which may have a different type of section break indicated). If there areno additional section breaks in your document, then the properties for thatsection break are stored in the last paragraph mark of the document. Thesection breaks act as an embedded code that stores or maintains theproperties of the section above it.

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

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

If you place the insertion point between Section Break (Odd Page) andSection Break (Next Page), the status bar shows: Page 3 Sec 2. Tosee 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 thissection break are stored in the section break below where yourinsertion point is located, or as shown on the screen, Section Break(Next Page).

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

NOTE: A section break indicated on your screen as Next Page will bedefined 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 asSection Break (Next Page), the formatting of section 2 (Odd Page) willchange to the formatting of section 3 (Next Page); therefore, the odd pagesection is gone and on the screen, the Section Break (Next Page) iscorrectly shown. In effect, the Odd Page section break was deleted and theattributes of the last section (Next Page) were applied to the informationabove the deleted section break.

Word 7.0 and Earlier

In Word 7.0 for Windows and earlier, in normal view, the words "End OfSection" are shown on your screen at every point where you have a sectionbreak. The properties for a particular section are contained in the sectionbreak below the section. If there are no additional sections in yourdocument, then the properties for that section are stored in the lastparagraph mark of the document. The section breaks act as an embedded codethat stores or maintains the properties of the section above it.

For Example, if you have a one page document and half way down thepage, you insert an odd page section break and then further into yourdocument on page 1, you insert a next page section break, in normalview, you will see the following:
End of Section

End of Section
If you place the insertion point above the first end of sectionmarker, the status bar will show: Page 1 Sec 1. To see the actualproperties for the first section, on the File menu, click Page Setupand then click the Layout tab. Under Section Start, Word will indicatethat the section is New Page. The settings for this section break arestored in the section break below where the insertion point islocated or the first End-of-section marker on your screen.

If you place the insertion point between the first and second end ofsection mark on your screen, the status bar will show: Page 3 Sec 2.To see the actual properties for the second section, on the File menu,click Page Setup and then click the Layout tab. Under Section Start, Wordwill indicate that the section is Odd Page. The settings for thissection break are stored in the section break below where yourinsertion point is located or the second end-of-section mark on yourscreen.

If you place the insertion point below the second end-of-section mark,the status bar will show: Page 4 Sec 3. To see the actual propertiesfor the third section, on the File menu, click Page Setup and thenclick the Layout tab. Under Section Start, Word will indicate that thesection is New Page. The settings for this section break are stored inthe last paragraph of the document (because there are no more sectionbreaks in the document).

NOTE: A section break indicated on your screen as Next Page will bedefined 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 asEnd of Section, the formatting of section 2 (Odd Page) will change to theformatting of section 3 (Next Page). In effect the Odd Page section breakwas deleted and the attributes of the last section (Next Page) were appliedto the information above the deleted section break.

Deleting a Section Break

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

Word 97 for Windows

To delete a section break in Word 97, 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.

Word 7.0 and Earlier

To delete a section break in Word 7.0 and earlier, follow these steps:

  1. On the View menu, click Normal.

    The section break is represented by a double dotted line with the words "End of Section" in the center.
  2. Select the section break, press the BACKSPACE or DELETE key on your keyboard to remove the section break.
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Article ID: 180258 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 08:21:11 - Revision: 2.4

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