Complete Guide: How to Insert Line Breaks in Word


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Do you often get frustrated when trying to your in Microsoft Word and the corresponding seem unruly? Don't worry, because in this guide, we will provide a complete guide on how to insert line breaks in Microsoft Word.

A line break is a character that moves the cursor to the next line without creating a new . Line breaks are useful for formatting text in more flexible ways, such as making lists, writing poems, or adjusting the spacing between sentences.

In this article, you will learn how to insert line breaks in Word by using keyboard shortcuts or layout menus.

word line breaks
word line breaks

Why are line breaks important?

Before we get into the ways of inserting line breaks in Microsoft Word, let's understand why line breaks are important in a document. Line breaks are an important element in document formatting that lets you control the layout of text. By understanding how to set line breaks well, you can:

  • Improve the readability of your documents.
  • Separate important parts in a document.
  • Make documents look neater and professional.

Now, let's see some ways to insert line breaks in Microsoft Word.

Use keyboard shortcuts

One of the easiest ways to insert line breaks in Word is to use keyboard shortcuts. You just need to press the “Shift” and “Enter” keys simultaneously at the end of the line that you want to move down. For example, if you write the following sentence:

I like to eat apples and bananas.

You can press (Shift + Enter) after the word ‘eat' to create a line break and move the word ‘apple' to the next line. The result will be like this:

I like to eat
apples and bananas

Note that the distance between two lines is the same as the distance between two words in a line. This is in contrast to the spacing between two paragraphs, which is usually wider. If you want to create a new paragraph, you have to press Enter only without Shift.

You can use these keyboard shortcuts anywhere in your Word document, whether it's in the middle of a paragraph, at the end of a paragraph, or the beginning of a paragraph. You can also use these keyboard shortcuts in some other apps and websites that support text formatting, such as email, messages, comments, or social media.

Use the Layout Menu

In addition to using keyboard shortcuts, you can also insert line breaks in Word by using the layout menu. This menu is located in the “Layout” tab on the ribbon bar at the top of the screen. Here are the steps:

  • Click on the position in your Word document where you want to insert a line break.
  • In the “Layout” tab, click the “Breaks” button. This is in the “Page Setup” group.
  • From the menu that appears, select the “Text Wrapping” option. This is at the bottom of the menu, under the “Page Breaks” subheading.
  • Word inserts a line break at your cursor position and moves the text after that to the next line.

You can repeat these steps to insert more line breaks where you want. Note that this menu is only available for the desktop version of Word, not for the online or mobile versions.

Remove line breaks

If you want to remove line breaks that you have already inserted, you can do it easily by using the delete or find and replace feature. Here are the ways to remove line breaks in Word:

  • Use the delete feature: You can remove line breaks the same way you delete any other character. You just need to put the cursor before or after the line break, then press the “Backspace” or “Delete” key on your keyboard. If you want to remove multiple line breaks at once, you can highlight them first by using your mouse or keyboard, and then press the delete key you want.
  • Use the find and replace feature: You can remove all line breaks in your Word document by using the find and replace feature. This feature is located on the Home tabon the ribbon bar, in the Editing group. Here are the steps:
    1. In the “Home” tab, click the “Find” button, then select “Advanced Find…” from the menu that appears.
    2. In the “Find and Replace” dialog box, click the “Replace” tab.
    3. In the “Find what:” box, type the character “^l” (lowercase L begins with caret). This is a special code for line breaks in Word.
    4. In the “Replace with:” box, leave blank or type the characters that you want to replace line breaks, such as spaces or punctuation.
    5. Click the “Replace All” button to remove or replace all line breaks in your document. You can also click the “Replace” button to remove or replace one by one.


Line breaks are useful characters to format text more flexibly in Word. You can enter line breaks by using the keyboard shortcut Shift + Enter or the layout menu in the “Layout” tab. You can also remove line breaks by using the delete or find and replace features. By using line breaks, you can make your Word document neater and professional.


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