RSS

How do I combine Word documents without losing the formatting?

21 Dec

I’ve written about how to combine Word documents in this article. But what if combining documents loses the formatting?

I had a question in a comment from someone who had used my method to combine several chapters of a textbook. But the formatting all got lost. What should she do?

How to combine Word documents and not lose the format

Before you combine the documents into one big document, add a Section Break at the end of each document you want to combine.

I’ve covered this in more detail in this article, but here’s a summary with a screenshot from Word 2013.

  • Go to the Page Layout tab
  • Find the Breaks section and drop it down using the little arrow
  • Select Section Break – Next page

Once you’ve done this to all your documents, combine them. You might find you have some extra blank pages at the end of sections: turn Paragraph Marks on (see this article for how to do that) so that you can see your Section Breaks. Carefully delete the blank pages but leave the section breaks there.

This should retain your individual formatting in each individual document that you’ve combined.


If you’ve found this article on how to combine Word documents without losing the formatting, useful, please comment or share using the buttons below. Happy document-combining!

Other useful articles on this website

How do I combine several Word documents?

How do I insert section breaks in Word?

Viewing paragraph marks and other mark-up

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 21, 2017 in Copyediting, Short cuts, Word, Writing

 

Tags: , , , ,

3 responses to “How do I combine Word documents without losing the formatting?

  1. Kristin Baird

    April 16, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    I am following the directions to the letter and all is well for four of the documents but one in particular (the second one I add) loses formatting such as typeface and spacing. The other issue I have is the page numbers….1 of 5, 2 of 5, etc. all run together even though the individual text of the footer stays with the document. Any ideas?

    Like

     
    • Liz Dexter

      April 17, 2018 at 7:29 am

      Unfortunately this is a bit of a Dark Art and doesn’t always work as planned (maybe I should make that more clear in the article!). I’m guessing that hidden formatting codes in the documents are making them mess around. I would certainly just take pagination out of (copies of) the originals. As for the one document that plays up, I’d be stripping out all formatting before I went through to combining (copy text, paste into notepad or similar, copy and paste into a new Word document, reformat, then combine). Which is not what you want to hear. Good luck!

      Like

       

I love hearing from my readers - do please leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d bloggers like this: