Word: Use Section Breaks to Format Parts of a Document

In Word 2007, to insert a Page Break, you simply click the Insert tab and choose Page Break. But if you want to make a change to one section (one page or a few pages) without altering the entire format or layout of your document, how do you do that? I was recently asked how one can change the orientation of just one page in a document from Portrait to Landscape to accommodate a wide chart.  This is when you use Section Breaks. Where, then, in the mystifying Ribbon, is that Insert Section Break command?

Section breaks are found on the Page Layout tab. On the Page Layout tab, click Breaks in the Page Setup group.

Choose from three different types of section breaks:

  • The Next Page command starts a new section on the next page. This is useful when you need to start a new chapter.
  • The Continuous command starts a new section on the same page. You may, for example, use this command to change the number of columns on the same page.
  • The Even Page or Odd Page starts a new section on the next even-numbered or odd-numbered page.

Inserting a Section Break

Let’s answer the question: How do you change only one of the page orientation to Landscape?

To change the orientation of a page, I first insert a Next Page section break for the wide chart. I click Orientation and choose Landscape in the Page Setup group, also on the Page Layout tab. To revert to Portrait orientation for the rest of the document, I insert another Next Page section break and change the orientation.

To view the Section Break or Delete the Section Break

Make sure you are in Draft view by clicking the View tab and selecting Draft. You will see the double lines indicating the section break. Select and clear the Section Break if necessary.

For more information on section breaks or other topics, go to your Word Help menu.