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How to Remove Section Breaks in Word? [For Students]

May 24, 2024

As a student navigating the intricacies of academic formatting, I understand the frustration of encountering stubborn section breaks that disrupt the flow of your document. In this guide, I share my insights and experiences to help you tackle this common issue effectively. Let's dive in and unravel the mystery of removing section breaks in Word!

Part 1: Why Can’t I Remove Section Breaks in Word?

Can’t I Remove Section Breaks

Have you ever struggled to remove a section break in your Word document? You're not alone. Section breaks, while useful for formatting, can sometimes be a bit tricky to delete. This part will explore two common scenarios where removing section breaks might cause frustration:

1. Failing to Remove Section Breaks in Word on Mac

Unlike Windows, deleting section breaks on Mac using Backspace or Delete might not work as intended. Here's why:

  • Hidden Section Break: Section breaks are hidden by default in Word. To see them, you need to enable the "Show/Hide" formatting marks.

Hidden Section Break

  • Unselectable Break: Even with formatting marks displayed, the section break might still appear unselectable. This can happen if it's followed by a page break or other formatting element.

2. Failing to Remove the Last Section Break Without Losing Formatting in Your Essay

Especially for essays, the last section break might be causing an unwanted page break. However, deleting it can remove your formatting throughout the document. Here's why this occurs:

  • Linked Sections: Sections in your document can inherit formatting from the previous section. Deleting the last section break can merge its formatting with the preceding section, potentially causing inconsistencies.

Scenario: Imagine your essay has two sections. The first section has single line spacing, while the second (shorter) section has double line spacing for the references. Deleting the last section break might apply the double spacing to the entire essay.

Solution to these problems will be covered in Part 2!

Part 2: Easy Steps to Remove Section Breaks in Word for Your Essay

In Part 2 of this guide, I'll walk you through the simple steps to remove section breaks in Word for your essays. Whether you're using WPS Office or Microsoft Word, these easy-to-follow instructions will help you maintain smooth formatting in your documents. Say goodbye to pesky section breaks and hello to seamless editing with these straightforward techniques.

Steps to Remove Section Breaks

Remove a section break in Word

There are two main ways to remove section breaks in Word:

  • Using the Show/Hide button:

Step 1: Click the Show/Hide button in the Paragraph group on the Home tab. This will reveal all formatting marks in your document, including section breaks.

the Show/Hide button

Step 2: Place your cursor at the beginning of the line after the section break you want to remove.

line after the section break

Step 3: Press the Backspace key.

Step 1: Open your Word document: Launch WPS Office and open the document where you want to remove the section break.

Launch WPS Office

Step 2: Access the "View" tab: Look for the toolbar at the top of the Word window. Click on the "View" tab located in the menu options.

Access the

Step 3: Enable the Navigation Pane: Within the "View" tab, locate the "Show" section. Make sure that the "Navigation Pane" option is checked or enabled.

Enable the Navigation Pane

Step 4: Navigate to the "Section" tab: Once the Navigation Pane is activated, you'll see it appear on the left side of your document. Click on the " Section" tab within the Navigation Pane.

Navigate to the

Step 5: Identify the section break: In the Navigation Pane, you'll now see a list of headings or sections in your document. Scroll through this list to find the section break you want to remove.

Step 6: Select the section break: Click on the section break you wish to delete. It will be highlighted in the Navigation Pane.

Select the section break

Step 7: Remove the section break: Once the section break is selected, simply press the "Delete" key on your keyboard. The section break will be deleted from your document.

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Removing Multiple or All Section Breaks

There is no built-in way to remove all section breaks at once in Word. However, you can use the Find and Replace feature to find all section breaks and replace them with paragraph marks.

Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Press Ctrl+H to open the Find and Replace dialog box.

the Find and Replace dialog box

Step 2: In the Find what field, type ^b. This is the code for a section break in Word.

Step 3: Leave the Replace with field empty.

Step 4: Click Replace All.

Click Replace All

Note: This method will also remove any other types of breaks that use the ^b code, such as column breaks. Be sure to review your document carefully after using this method.

WPS AI: Your Best Assistant with Essay Paper Work

WPS AI logo

Feeling overwhelmed by the blank page when starting your essay? Don't worry, WPS AI is here to be your secret weapon!

WPS AI is a powerful built-in feature within WPS Office that utilizes artificial intelligence to assist you in various writing tasks. One of its valuable tools is the ability to generate outlines and brainstorm ideas, giving your essay a strong foundation.

Here's how to leverage WPS AI to create an outline for your essay:

Step 1: Access WPS AI

Open your WPS Writer document and locate the AI Assistant icon on the top right corner. It might be labelled as "AI Writer" depending on your version. Click on the icon to activate the AI features.

Access WPS AI

Step 2: Describe Your Essay Topic

In the AI Assistant panel, you'll see a text box prompting you to "Enter instructions or questions." Here, clearly state your essay topic. For example, if your essay is about the environmental impact of fast fashion, you could type: "Outline for essay: Environmental impact of fast fashion"

Describe Your Essay Topic

Step 3: Generate the Outline

Once you've described your topic, click the "Generate" button. WPS AI will analyze your input and utilize its knowledge base to create a draft outline for your essay.

Step 4: Review and Refine

WPS AI will present a structured outline for your essay, including main points, sub-points, and even potential supporting arguments. Review the outline carefully and make any necessary adjustments to suit your specific essay needs. You can add, remove, or rearrange sections to ensure the outline accurately reflects your approach.

WPS AI: Streamlining Your Essay Writing Process

By using WPS AI to generate outlines, you can save valuable time and overcome writer's block. This AI assistant provides a solid framework to structure your essay, allowing you to focus on developing strong arguments and crafting compelling content.

Remember, WPS AI is a tool to empower you, not replace your own critical thinking. Use the generated outline as a starting point and personalize it to create a unique and well-structured essay.


How can I insert a section break in Word?

To insert a section break in Word, follow these steps:

Step 1. Place your cursor where you want to insert the section break.

Step 2. Go to the "Layout" or "Page Layout" tab in the toolbar.

Step 3. Click on the "Breaks" option.

Step 4. Select "Next Page" under the "Section Breaks" section.

insert a section break

How can I insert a page break in Word?

To insert a page break in Word, follow these steps:

Step 1. Place your cursor where you want to insert the page break.

Step 2. Go to the "Insert" tab in the toolbar.

Step 3. Click on the "Page Break" option.

insert a page break

What is the difference between page break and section break?

The key difference between a page break and a section break in Word lies in their impact on your document's layout and formatting. Here's a breakdown:


Page Break

Section Break


Separates content between pages.

Divides a document into sections.

Effect on Content

Forces following content onto a new page.

Allows different formatting within sections.

Formatting Control

Controls page layout and content flow.

Controls section formatting and properties.


Chapter headings, tables, images.

Chapters, appendices, different formatting.


In this guide, I've shown you how to easily remove section breaks in Word. I've explained common problems and provided simple steps to solve them. Throughout, I've emphasized the convenience of using WPS Office, which makes editing documents a breeze. With clear instructions and practical tips, you can now handle section breaks with confidence and efficiency using WPS Office.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.