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Preparing Your Book Files: Page Breaks and Section Breaks

July 23, 2020 (Last Updated September 23, 2020)

Raven B.

There’s a lot to consider when formatting your book. We understand not everyone is a computer wiz, which is why we try to break down as much as we can when it comes to setting up your files. If you ever have questions about setting up your book files, contact us!

 For example, page breaks and section breaks are two things to consider when formatting your book that you may not have a firm grasp on. What is the difference between these breaks? Well, let’s take a look!


Page Breaks

A page break marks the point at which one page ends and the next page begins. These are commonly used to push a line or paragraph of content to the next page. For example, if you just finished a paragraph toward the bottom of your age and want to insert say, a table, on the next page, you would end your paragraph and add a page break then add your table and it will start at the top of the next page. A page break ONLY the text, NOT a change in margins, headers and footers, as well as differently numbered pages and footnotes.

Here are two common examples! The first is the use of a subheading within your chapter. The second is the use of a table.


Page break example with subheading within chapter



Page break example with subheading within chapter

Table version



Page break example with subheading and table



Page break example with subheading and table


Section Breaks

A section break changes both the body of the document and headers and footers, page numbers, footnotes, margins, etc. We’ll take a look at the most commonly used and highly recommended, odd page section breaks.

When reformatting, I like to utilize page breaks and odd page section breaks. I like for chapters to start on the right-hand side of the book, so at the end of each chapter I insert an odd page section break. This forces the content to start on the right; I use styles.  My “Chapter Heads” style has spacing above it that's built in so that my chapter title starts further down the page. You cannot achieve this spacing through the styles by using only a page break. The headers and footers can then be updated if you want them to coordinate with the chapter title. The odd page section break makes this very simple since you cannot achieve this with the “page break,” as it only allows movement of body text.

Here is what it looks like when adding just a page break at the end of your chapter to get from chapter 2 to chapter 3. (Keep in mind that I have the same style on my chapter titles.)


Section break, chapters


This next image is when I replace the “page break” with an “odd page section break.”


Odd page section break example

Now, my chapter starts a third of the way down the page and there is no header above the chapter because I have the different first page box checked. The headers start over because of the odd-page section break.

Page breaks allow you to clean up the flow of your document. The odd page section break gives you the ability to customize more about your book, giving it a professional feel. The utilization of both of these tools will give you an even more polished book. 

Need help getting started? Check out our free book templates!


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