Page breaks and section breaks are two useful features for controlling page layout in MS Word and other desktop publishing programs. You should consider using them to format your thesis/dissertation.

Setting Page Breaks in MS WordPage Breaks

Page breaks are used to end a page without filling it with text. To make sure the title page of your thesis/dissertation is separate from the signature page, for example, insert a page break after the graduation date on the title page.

Page breaks are also used to start a chapter on a new page, a common standard in publishing. To ensure that the new chapter does appear on a separate page, insert a page break immediately following the text at the end of the chapter.

To add a page break, click Insert, and Page Break, then OK. A page break can also be created by holding down the Control key, then pressing Enter.

Section Breaks

Section breaks are used to allow formatting changes (i.e., different margins, page number styles, etc.) in the same document. To have the preliminary pages (numbered using Roman numerals) and the body of your thesis/dissertation (numbered using Arabic numerals) in one document, a section break should be used to change the format of the page numbers.

Word 2007

To create a section break in Word 2007, click Page Layout, choose Insert Page and Section Breaks (to the right of Orientation), then click Section Break Next Page.

Word 2010

Download the instructions for setting page and section breaks in the latest version of MS Word.

Word 2013

For information on creating page and section breaks, follow these instructions.

If you need more detailed assistance, please contact the Applied Research Lab at 724-357-4530 or email to schedule personalized training.