About sections and section breaks

You can use sections (section: A portion of a document in which you set certain page formatting options. You create a new section when you want to change such properties as line numbering, number of columns, or headers and footers.) to vary the layout of a document within a page or between pages.

Document with section breaks

Callout 1 Section formatted as a single column

Callout 2 Section formatted as two columns

Just insert section breaks (section break: A mark you insert to show the end of a section. A section break stores the section formatting elements, such as the margins, page orientation, headers and footers, and sequence of page numbers.) to divide the document into sections, and then format each section the way you want. For example, format a section as a single column for the introduction of a report, and then format the following section as two columns for the report’s body text.

ShowTypes of section breaks you can insert

The following examples show the types of section breaks you can insert. (In each illustration, the double dotted line represents a section break.)

Next page inserts a section break and starts the new section on the next page.

Next Page section break

Continuous inserts a section break and starts the new section on the same page.

Continuous section break

Odd page or Even page inserts a section break and starts the new section on the next odd-numbered or even-numbered page.

Odd Page section break

ShowTypes of formats you can set for sections

You can change the following section formats:

Keep in mind that a section break controls the section formatting of the text that precedes it. For example, if you delete a section break, the preceding text becomes part of the following section and assumes its section formatting. Note that the last paragraph mark (paragraph mark: The nonprinting symbol that Microsoft Word inserts when you press ENTER to end a paragraph. The paragraph mark stores the formatting you apply to the paragraph.) in the document controls the section formatting of the last section in the document — or of the entire document if it doesn’t contain sections.

 
 
Applies to:
Word 2003