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How to keep words together on a line in Microsoft Word

We have all had the frustrating experience where the text breaks at the end of a line on a page, making it confusing or aesthetically unpleasant. In most cases, you will add or remove extra words or a word so that the sentence flows. However, will you do this for every single sentence that breaks? It is possible but exhausting.

Below are three ways to keep words together on a line.

1.    Non-breaking space

The first step is to turn on a feature called ‘Show Hide in the Home tab in the group for paragraph features. This will display non-printing characters. However, they won’t be displayed when the document is printed. By enabling this, we can see that we have what is called soft spaces: that is, where dots appear between those words. We are going to delete them where we want to put a non-breaking space.

  1. Go to the end of the sentence where you want to keep words together.
  1. Remove the space between the two words you want to keep together.
  1. Turn on ‘Show Hide.’
  1. Place the cursor between the words.
  2. Press CTRL +Shift + Space

The two words will remain together, regardless of the changes you make to the paragraph.

Doing this adds a character that looks like the degree symbol. This is your non-breaking space. It is only visible when you turn on Show Hide.

2.    Non-breaking hyphens

This is the same with non-breaking spaces but for words that are separated by hyphens. Such words breaking at the end of a sentence are aesthetically displeasing. To make sure the words stay together, we will follow these simple steps using state-of-the-art.

  1. Remove the hyphens between ‘state-of-the-art.’
  2. Turn on ‘Show Hide.’



  1. After removing the first hyphen, press CTRL + Shift + Hyphen.
  2. Repeat this for the remaining hyphens as this does not work for all the hyphens at once.

The block will then remain unaffected regardless of the changes made to the paragraph.

3.    Non-breaking lines and paragraphs

Another challenge we might have with line breaks and page breaks is when we might have headings on one page, and the rest of the content is on another or where paragraphs might split between two different pages.

The goal is to keep that heading attached to or glued to the paragraph below it.

In the Home tab, we can click on the downward-facing arrow in the corner to take us to the dialog paragraph box.

Another option would be to right-click anywhere on that paragraph, and on your shortcut menu, left-click on the paragraph.

In this dialog box, you can adjust indents, line spacing. However, our interest is in the line, and the page breaks on the other tab.

What we are interested in is ‘Keep with next.’ By selecting ‘Keep with next,’ this heading will automatically move to the following line.

Another thing to try is ‘Keep lines together.’ This means if you have one or more paragraphs highlighted, the lines within that paragraph will stay on one page together.

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