Content Breaks

Breaks create divisions within a manuscript. Two reasons are:

  • Formatting reasons. E.g., Keeping paragraphs intact by moving them to the next page; and
  • Separating content into distinct sections. E.g., Front matter, back matter, and chapters.

Breaks are preferred over the insertion of empty lines. The latter creates a cascading effect, which is difficult to manage in large manuscripts. I.e., End up with chapters starting at random points on a page.

Both types of breaks can be inserted under the Page Layout ribbon.


Page Breaks can be inserted through the CTRL and ENTER keyboard combination.


The two biggest types are Page Breaks and Section Breaks. The core differences are:

  • Section Breaks. Permits section specific headers, footers, page layouts, and margins. Sections can be Linked or Unlinked from previous sections. E.g. Front matter page number and headers typically differ from those used in chapters and back matter; and
  • Page Breaks. Pushes content onto the next page or column.

When readying for print, Section Breaks are used for most areas where a H1 or Header 1 would be used. The first chapter’s Header and Footer should be Unlinked from its predecessor, as the front matter’s formatting differs from the rest. Every new chapter is followed by a Section Break, because the Different First Page headers for chapter is typically blank.

Within chapters themselves, Page Breaks are better suited, as they have no effect on the section’s formatting. Cascade effects are less severe, and easier to correct.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Content Breaks by Evelyn Chartres is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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