Cognitive Assessment

MS Word Trick: Make your headings stay on the same page as the paragraph below

When I write psychological evaluation reports, I start with a template that has headings for the various sections. Until now, I always had to check the document before printing to make sure that no headings were alone on the last line of the page, with its accompanying paragraph on the next page. It did not take much time to fix the problems, but it was a pain to re-paginate the report if I made future edits. Its main cost was a bit of worry each time I finished a report.

All these years it never occurred to me to ask whether Microsoft engineers had anticipated this problem!

In Microsoft Word, there is an option to keep a paragraph on the same page as the next paragraph. I use Word 2010 for Windows so your experience might be slightly different. I select the heading, and click the format button in the Paragraph section.


Then click the Line and Page Breaks tab.


Then check the Keep with next box.


Now right-click Heading 1 on the Styles portion of the Home tab on the ribbon. Select Update Heading 1 to Match Selection.


Now everything you have marked as a Level 1 heading will stay with its accompanying paragraph. You can repeat the process for Level 2 and Level 3 headings, if needed.

I have now updated my template so that the headings behave properly.

A more thorough treatment of page breaks and other pagination tricks can be found here.


5 thoughts on “MS Word Trick: Make your headings stay on the same page as the paragraph below

  1. Paul Bertoia says:


    Thanks for your blog, some really useful matters covered. I have been thinking a lot about your comments around psych reports – despite writing them for 20 years, I am always looking for ways to do them better (mainly as in faster, and more relevant to readers).

    Are you happy for people to adapt your template for their use, with acknowledgement – the template that I currently use is similar (I guess our reports are reasonably standard, certainly in Anglophone countries) but there are a couple of things that I am thinking of incorporating – and your earlier posts about trimming some of the non-essentials have really got me thinking. Would a note along the lines of ‘Report format adapted from a template developed by Joel Schneider PhD’ be sufficient, do you think?


    Paul Bertoia

  2. Pingback: More Microsoft skills – Marc's log book

  3. Susan Brown says:

    This isn’t a trick. This is part of the style. I really thought you’d have a way to make the heading stay with the following text, when it won’t (and of course I set up my heading styles to “keep with next. But this one heading just won’t keep with next!)

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