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How to show or hide section breaks in Microsoft Word

Sometimes, when you are using MS Word, you are writing more than a page or two. For example, you could be writing an essay, paper, article or even a book. However, with multiple pages come a few problems that MS Word’s default setting does not accommodate. For example, if you want your paper to have different sections, MS Word will not automatically separate it into sections or begin new sections on another page instead of on the bottom of the previous one.

To remedy the above problems, we can use section breaks or page breaks. Section breaks come in handy if you’re going to change both the body of the text and other elements like numbering, margins, headers, and footers.

If you already have section breaks and want to show or hide them in your document, there are two ways to do this.

  1. Using show/hide feature
  2. Configuring Word options

Method 1: Show/Hide feature

  • Open the Word document with the paragraph marks.
  • On the ribbon, click on the ‘Home’ tab.
  • Under the paragraph section, click the ‘Show/Hide’ button.
  • Now you will be able to see section breaks and other hidden formatting symbols.

Method 2: Configuring Word options

  • Open the Word document with the paragraph marks.
  • On the ribbon, go to the ‘File’ tab.
  • Word will display the backstage view.
  • From it, scroll to ‘Options’ at the bottom of the list.
  • A Word Options dialog box will pop up.
  • On your left, select ‘Display’ from the list.
  • Word will display another list of specifications.
  • Go to the ‘Always show these formatting marks on the screen’ area.
  • Check the box next to ‘Show all formatting marks.’
  • Click ‘OK.’
  • Now, you will be able to see the section breaks in the document.

To hide all section breaks, repeat steps 1-8 and then uncheck the box next to ‘Show all formatting marks.’

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