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By default, Word automatically drops text to the next line when there’s a space or hyphen at the end of that line. But what if you want to keep those words containing the space or hyphen together on the same line?

With a bit of tweaking to spacing or inserting a manual break, you can certainly make this happen. But there’s another way. We’ll show you how to use nonbreaking spaces and hyphens to keep words together in your Microsoft Word document.

How to Insert a Nonbreaking Space

The nonbreaking space in Microsoft Word is considered a symbol, a special character. So you can simply replace the space between the words you want to keep together with a nonbreaking space.

Place your cursor where you want to insert the nonbreaking space. If you already have a space, you can simply select it by dragging your cursor through it.

Select the space between the words

If not, you can put the two words together with your cursor between them where you want the space.

Add a space between words

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Go to the Insert tab and click the Symbol drop-down arrow. Select “More Symbols.”

Select Symbol, More Symbols

In the Symbol window that appears, click the Special Characters tab. Select “Nonbreaking Space” in the list, click “Insert,” and then “Close.”

Pick Nonbreaking Space and Insert

You should then see your text adjust. The words on either side of the nonbreaking space should be together on the same line.

Nonbreaking Space inserted in Word

How to Insert a Nonbreaking Hyphen

The nonbreaking hyphen in Word works the same way as the nonbreaking space. But obviously, you’ll use this character for keeping hyphenated words together.

Place your cursor where you want to insert the nonbreaking hyphen. If you already have the hyphen, you can simply select it by dragging your cursor through it.

Select the hyphen between the words

If not, you can put the two words together with your cursor between them where you want the hyphen.

Add a hyphen between words

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Head to the Insert tab, click the Symbol drop-down arrow, and select “More Symbols.”

Select Symbol, More Symbols

In the Symbol window, click the Special Characters tab. Select “Nonbreaking Hyphen” in the list, click “Insert,” and then “Close.”

Select Nonbreaking Hyphen

You should then see your text adjust with the hyphenated word together on the same line.

Nonbreaking Hyphen inserted in Word

Similar to keeping words on the same line, you can keep the lines of a paragraph together and stop them from splitting between pages. In addition, you can eliminate widow and orphan lines in your Word documents too!

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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