How to Remove a Section Break in Microsoft Word

Ever stumbled upon an unexpected hiccup in your document because of a section break in Microsoft Word? You’re not alone. Whether it’s messing with your formatting or just sitting there by accident, removing a section break might seem daunting. But fear not! It’s actually a piece of cake. In less than a minute, you can get rid of any unwanted section break, and here’s how: simply show the breaks, choose the one you want to remove, and delete it. That’s it!

Once you remove a section break, the text before and after the break will merge into a single section, inheriting the formatting settings of the section that came first. This means your document will look more consistent, but be aware that you might need to reapply certain formatting or page layout settings if they were different between the sections.

If you’re having trouble printing your document, then Support Your Tech has an article about editing the print settings for a document that can help.

How to Eliminate a Section Break in Microsoft Word

Understanding how to remove a section break can streamline your document formatting and eliminate unnecessary complications. Here’s a step-by-step guide to make the process as smooth as possible.

Step 1: Open your Document

First things first, open the Microsoft Word document that contains the section break you wish to remove.

Opening your document is the starting point for any editing. Ensure you’re working on the correct version of your document to avoid any unnecessary hassle later on.

Step 2: Show all Formatting Marks

Press Ctrl + Shift + 8 (or Command + 8 on a Mac) to display all formatting marks, including section breaks. This makes it easier to see where the breaks are.

Seeing all the formatting marks can be a bit overwhelming at first, but it’s crucial for identifying and removing section breaks. It’s like turning on the lights before cleaning a room—you need to see what you’re dealing with.

Step 3: Locate the Section Break

Scroll through your document to find the section break you want to remove. It will be labeled as “Section Break” and might be of various types, such as Next Page, Continuous, Even Page, or Odd Page.

Identifying the correct section break is key. You wouldn’t want to remove the wrong one and mess up your document’s layout, so take your time to ensure you’ve got the right break in your sights.

Step 4: Delete the Section Break

Click on the section break to select it, then press the Delete key. This will remove the section break from your document.

When you press Delete, the document’s text will flow continuously without the break, altering the document’s structure. If the break was there to create a new page or change formatting, you might need to adjust your document accordingly.

Tips for Managing Section Breaks in Microsoft Word

  • Regularly save your document before making significant changes, like removing section breaks.
  • Use the Show/Hide formatting marks feature to keep track of all the breaks in your document.
  • Be mindful of the changes in formatting that might occur after removing a section break.
  • If you’re unsure about removing a break, copy and save a section of the text in another document as a backup.
  • Understand the purpose of different section breaks (Next Page, Continuous, Even Page, Odd Page) to use them more effectively in your document.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between a section break and a page break?

A section break allows you to change formatting settings within the same document, while a page break simply moves text to the next page without changing formatting.

Can I undo the removal of a section break?

Yes, you can press Ctrl + Z (or Command + Z on a Mac) immediately after deleting a section break to undo the action.

Why can’t I see the section breaks when I open my document?

You might not have all formatting marks displayed. Press Ctrl + Shift + 8 (or Command + 8 on a Mac) to show them.

What happens to my footer and header when I remove a section break?

Headers and footers will follow the formatting of the preceding section once the break is removed, so you may need to reconfigure them.

Can removing a section break affect my document’s pagination?

Yes, it can. If the section break was controlling the start of a new page, removing it will affect your document’s layout and pagination.


Removing a section break in Microsoft Word is a simple task that can significantly impact your document’s appearance and flow. Whether you’re tidying up a document or adjusting the layout, knowing how to manage section breaks is an essential skill for any Word user. With the steps and tips provided, you’re well-equipped to handle section breaks like a pro. Remember, every section break in your document serves a purpose, whether it’s for formatting or organization. So, before you remove one, consider how it will affect your document’s overall structure. If you’re ever in doubt, experiment with a copy of your document to see the outcome first. Happy editing, and may your documents always be perfectly formatted!