Prevent word pairs from breaking in Word

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Q. Is it possible to prevent two words from breaking apart at the end of a line in Microsoft Word?

A. You can keep two (or more) words together on the same line in Word by inserting a nonbreaking space character between them by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar (instead of inserting a regular space character). The resulting nonbreaking space will look the same as a regular space, but when the word pair reaches the right margin, Word will wrap the entire word pair to the next line, if necessary, rather than breaking them apart on separate lines. For example, you may use nonbreaking spaces to prevent the surname of our eighth president, Martin Van Buren, from breaking apart at the end of a line.

Likewise, you can also insert a nonbreaking hyphen by pressing Ctrl+Shift+- to prevent Word from breaking a pair of hyphenated words. When the ­hyphenated word pair reaches the right margin, Word will wrap the hyphenated word pair to the next line, if necessary, rather than breaking them apart at the hyphen. For example, you might insert a nonbreaking hyphen to prevent the phrase ­editor-in-chief from breaking apart at the end of a line.


About the author

J. Carlton Collins (carlton@asaresearch.com) is a technology consultant, a conference presenter, and a JofA contributing editor.

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