Microsoft Word is a word processor that creates the documents you require in a text format. The length of each page is governed by the size of paper you have chosen and the margins that you have set. Most of us just use the default settings that Word comes with and don’t even try to investigate if these can be changed. The text just keeps flowing onto the next line and only when there is not enough room on that page does the text flow into the next page. But you can decide exactly when you need to have a page break. (When to end the text on this page and start the next page.)
The same can be said of the paragraph. You don’t have to end the paragraph to have the next piece of text start on the next line. Being able to continue the paragraph on the next line can be beneficial in formatting of your document.
What does it look like?
Here is an example of the same paragraphs with normal breaks and with soft returns.On the left are three separate paragraphs with the usual extra line bellow or above a paragraph and on the right is ONE paragraph that looks like three with no space between. Let’s look at a piece of text with the hide/show characters on. Meaning find the tool on the Home Tab. Here is a document example of paragraphs, showing the Paragraph marks at the end. As you can see there is a paragraph mark at the end of each paragraph.
Here is the same document, but with the text not finishing at the right-hand side of the page but continuing the same paragraph on the next line. Look closely at the second paragraph. The forth line down ends close to the left. But there no big space between that and the next line of text.
There is however, a bent arrow mark that indicates a finish to the line but not the paragraph and is known as a Soft return.
How to create a Soft return.
When you have come to the end of the line but do not to end the paragraph.
- Hold the SHIFT key and press the Enter key.
When you need the text to finish at a particular place on the page. Not at the natural break at the bottom of the page. You can do this by placing a Page break at the end of the text.
How to create a Page Break.
- Hold down the CTRL key and press the Enter Key.
Here are two examples of the same document. The first is allowing Word to decide where the next page starts. The second is you deciding where the next page starts. Example one Example two