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June 14th- The Writing Life: Hacks, Tips, and Solutions (speaker Elle Andrews Patt)

July 12th- From Novel to Cocoon to Screenwriting (speaker Barbara Harrington)

August 9th- Topic Pending (speaker Sylvia Weiss Sinclair)

September 13th- The Evolution of Genres (speaker Ken Pelham)

October 11th- Topic Pending (speaker Sharon Belcastro)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ask Sam: How can I get rid of manual page breaks?

I had a great time attending Sleuthfest 2010, and I've written about the experience on my blog. But now I'm back to answer this week's question:
Sometimes when I type fast, Word breaks the page at weird places. How do I stop that from happening?
Most likely, you are accidentally pressing the Ctrl key when you hit Enter. That inserts a manual page break into the document. There's no way to stop that from happening other than to not press Ctrl. Your best bet is to not worry about manual breaks until you finish your manuscript, and then wipe them all out at once by following these easy steps:
  1. Press Ctrl + H. The Find and Replace dialog appears.
  2. Enter ^m as the "Find what" text. (Word 2007 users need to enter ^p^m because Word 2007 inserts an extra paragraph marker when you insert a manual page break.)
  3. Leave "Replace with" blank.
  4. Click Replace All.Word removes all of your manual page breaks.
Another common typing error is to hold the shift key down while pressing Enter, resulting in manual line breaks. To convert them to normal paragraphs, follow the same steps as above, but use ^l as the "Find with" value (Word 2003 and Word 2007).

Got a question about using Windows or Word? Send e-mail to stfalco AT

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