How to Create Sections in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating sections in Microsoft Word is a handy skill for organizing your document into manageable chunks. By dividing your document into sections, you can apply different formatting, headers, footers, and page numbers to each part. It’s a simple process that requires only a few clicks.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Create Sections in Word

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand that creating sections allows you to have more control over your document’s layout. Whether you’re working on a thesis, business report, or a multi-chapter book, sections can help you format your document more efficiently.

Step 1: Place the Cursor Where You Want to Begin a New Section

Click at the point in your document where you’d like a new section to start.

When you create a new section, everything before the cursor remains in the first section, and everything after becomes part of the new section. This is useful if you want to change the formatting midway through a document without affecting the earlier content.

Step 2: Go to the Layout Tab on the Ribbon

Navigate to the Layout tab at the top of the Word window.

The Layout tab contains all the tools you need for formatting your document, including the Breaks option, which is where you’ll find section breaks.

Step 3: Click on Breaks

Find and click the Breaks button in the Page Setup group.

After clicking on Breaks, a dropdown menu will appear with various types of breaks. You’ll see options for page breaks and section breaks.

Step 4: Choose the Type of Section Break You Need

Select the type of section break that suits your needs.

There are four types of section breaks in Word:

  • Next Page: Starts the new section on the next page.
  • Continuous: Starts the new section on the same page.
  • Even Page: Starts the new section on the next even-numbered page.
  • Odd Page: Starts the new section on the next odd-numbered page.
    Choose the one that best aligns with your formatting goals.

Once you’ve inserted a section break, you can apply different formatting to the text before and after the break. For example, you can change the orientation of pages or apply unique headers and footers for each section.

After Completing the Action

After inserting your section breaks, you can start formatting each section independently. This means you can have different page numbering, margins, orientation, or headers and footers in each section. It’s like having multiple documents within one!

Tips for Creating Sections in Word

  • Always double-check where your cursor is before inserting a section break.
  • If you’re using continuous breaks, it can be hard to tell where one section ends and another begins, so you may want to insert a temporary text like "Section Break" as a placeholder.
  • Remember that formatting changes apply from the point of the section break moving forward.
  • If you delete a section break, the formatting from the previous section will apply to the next.
  • Use the ‘Show/Hide ¶’ button under the Home tab to see where you’ve placed section breaks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a page break and a section break?

A page break simply moves the text following it to the next page, while a section break allows you to change the formatting in the new section.

Can I have different headers and footers in each section?

Yes, once you create a new section, you can customize the headers and footers for each section independently.

How do I remove a section break?

Click on the break itself to highlight it, then press the delete key.

Can I change the page orientation of one section without affecting the others?

Yes, each section can have its own page orientation.

How do I view where I’ve inserted section breaks?

Click on the ‘Show/Hide ¶’ button under the Home tab to reveal all the formatting marks, including section breaks.


  1. Place the cursor where you want the new section to start.
  2. Go to the Layout tab.
  3. Click on Breaks.
  4. Choose the type of section break you need.


Mastering the art of creating sections in Microsoft Word can vastly improve the organization and presentation of your documents. Whether you’re working on a complex report with varying formats or simply want to maintain different headers and footers, understanding how to effectively divide your document into sections is essential. Remember, the key is to plan your document structure ahead of time and know exactly where you want to implement these changes. With a bit of practice, you’ll find that managing large documents becomes a breeze when you utilize sections. And if you ever find yourself stumped, come back to this guide for a quick refresher on how to create sections in Word. Happy formatting!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy