How to Control Where Your Headings Start (Word 2013)

Have you encountered this bizarre scenario where the heading in the document just refuses to budge and stays put at the beginning of a page?  Sometimes, the gap or blank space between one page of a document and the other is a little too wide and you want the next heading (or chapter) to start just after the previous one ends.


You may have tried hitting the Delete or Backspace button multiple times in an attempt to force the heading to continue from the previous page but it just doesn’t work.  So you probably resorted to deleting the entire heading, and type and format the new heading that starts off perfectly where you want it to be.  Before you unleash your fury on your PC or start blaming Bill Gates for another bug in Word, take a dip in the ocean.  Oops, I am in a holiday mood while writing this!  

Anyway, there is a solution to this, and it all begins with inspecting and changing the paragraph attributes of the heading.  Here’s how:

1.  Right-click the heading “Project Approach” and select Paragraph from the pop-up menu.


2.  The Paragraph dialog box will appear.  By default, the Indents and Spacing tab is selected and displayed. 


3.  Click the Line and Page Breaks tab.  Depending on the settings that the author of the document has set, you will see something similar like this:


4.  Uncheck the Page break before checkbox.  Click the OK button.


Alternatively, you can also uncheck all the other attributes but leave the Keep lines together as checked.

5.  The heading “Project Approach” appears just after the “Objectives” section.


A little more explanation

There are four attributes under the Pagination section with different behaviour (although the two Keep with next and Keep lines together are very similar):

  • Widow/Orphan Control:  Rarely used, this is mostly selected by default.  It allows you to control the appearance of either the last line of a paragraph at the top of a page or the first line of a paragraph at the bottom of a page
  • Keep with next:  Keeps the particular paragraph on the same page as the next paragraph
  • Keep lines together:  Ensures that the particular paragraph does not start in a new page
  • Page break before:  Forces the particular paragraph to begin in the next page

At this point, you may wonder why would you want to go through the (minor) trouble in controlling these attributes when you can just hit the Enter button to control the spaces between one paragraph and another?  Well, stay tuned for my next post on this!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *