This tutorial shows how to insert nonbreaking spaces in Microsoft Word using the Symbol dialog box method and the keyboard shortcut method. Before we start the tutorial, we’ll briefly define nonbreaking spaces and see what they look like compared to regular spaces.
The images below are from Word for Office 365, which is currently the same as Word 2019. However, the steps are the same for Word 2016 and are similar for Word 2013 and Word 2010.
What Are Nonbreaking Spaces?
Nonbreaking spaces are special characters that keep words or individual characters from separating at line breaks. Nonbreaking spaces are particularly useful between ellipsis points. However, you can use them between any words or characters that you want to stay together.
In Microsoft Word, regular spaces are represented by a small, solid dot and nonbreaking spaces are represented by a slightly larger circle positioned higher than the regular-space dot.
To see these and other formatting symbols in your Word document, select the Show/Hide button in the Paragraph group of the Home tab. To hide the formatting symbols, reselect the Show/Hide button.
Insert Nonbreaking Spaces in Microsoft Word Using the Symbol Dialog Box
1. Place your cursor where the nonbreaking space should be inserted. Alternately, if a regular space already appears where the nonbreaking space should be inserted, select the regular space, as shown in the image below.
2. Select the Insert tab.
3. Select Symbols in the Symbols group.
4. Select More Symbols in the drop-down menu.
5. Select the Special Characters tab in the Symbol dialog box.
6. Select Nonbreaking Space from the Character menu.
7. Select the Insert button to insert the nonbreaking space.
Pro Tip: You can move your cursor around the document and insert additional nonbreaking spaces or other special characters while the Symbol dialog box is open.
8. Select the Close button to close the Symbol dialog box.
Insert Nonbreaking Spaces in Microsoft Word Using the Keyboard Shortcut
1. Place your cursor where the nonbreaking space should be inserted. Alternately, if a regular space already appears where the nonbreaking space should be inserted, select the regular space (see figure 1).
2. Select Ctrl + Shift + Space on your keyboard to insert the nonbreaking space.
Visit “How to Insert Special Characters in Microsoft Word” to learn how to insert additional special characters.
You can also use Word’s Find and Replace tool to find and replace special characters, including nonbreaking spaces.