If MS Word eliminates additional space before a paragraph or heading

You may have created this great paragraph or heading style that makes things distinct by adding space, only to find out that Word won’t respect your style and eliminates this additional space from above your heading or paragraph.

If your heading appears at the top of the page, there is nothing you can do! Word refuses to add there any “space before”. Since “space before” is meant to create some distinction, there is no point in adding it when there is no other text above your paragraph or heading.

Yet Word may also eliminate additional “space before” when your heading appears after a page break or a column break, and this time you have a chance to defend your style!

Go to Word Options > Advanced > Compatibility Options, and clear (if it is checked) the option to “Suppress Space Before after a hard page or column break”.


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