The knowledge of the Microsoft Office pack is an essential skill almost everyone puts on their CV today. As it turns out, however, many Office users get stuck facing simple tasks while creating, editing and formatting Word documents, such as page numbering, managing paragraphs or deleting empty pages.
A seemingly straightforward task can pose challenges for many Office users and lead to frustration at unwanted modification or edits in other parts of the document. How do you delete an unnecessary blank page in Word? Many of us have asked this question while working on a Word document, when an empty page that is not needed just wouldn’t go away. Panic not though, this issue is in fact super easy to solve. We’re presenting the most common causes of the problem and the most efficient ways to delete empty pages in Word.
How to delete an empty page in Word? Suggestions
Microsoft Word is arguably the most popular text editing tool in the world. The software helps create such documents as reports, CV and motivation letters, theses and dissertations, school and university assignments, and other written documents. The broad range of features the software offers allows for creating neat and tidy detailed, coherent documents with appropriate formatting. But it may so happen that while working on your Word doc, a blank page gets stuck inside the document and seems impossible to remove. No need to explain why it is bothersome: a redundant empty page makes the document unnecessarily longer and pointlessly affects the pagination. How to solve the issue of an empty page which, despite your efforts, refuses to disappear?
‘Deleting an empty page in Word’ – you’d be surprised at how often this phrase is entered into search engines, while in theory, a blank page without any text should seem easy to delete. The most obvious solution will be simply pressing the Backspace button until it disappears by itself. Right? Well, yes, in theory, however, that doesn’t always work as there may be several reasons for why the page is even there. Don’t worry though, finding the cause and solving the issue is pretty straightforward – here are our suggestions!
Check whether the page really is empty
If a blank page does not want to disappear, you may want to start by making sure it is indeed blank. That means, in many cases, a page that appears blank, is not in fact free of content – and we mean any content, not just text. There might be some special symbols or characters that have a purpose in formatting your document, but will not be visible while creating it. These are called non-printable characters or formatting marks. Therefore, in order to delete the ‘empty’ page, you will first need to be able to see and delete everything that is on the page, including non-printable characters such as tab characters, non-breaking space, paragraph marks etc. To display non printable-characters in Word documents, click the ‘Home’ tab in the Ribbon, then click the ‘Show/Hide Non-Printing Characters’. Alternatively, you can use a common keyboard shortcut Shift + Ctrl + 8 (you need to press all the keys simultaneously).
Displaying non-printable characters will reveal all of the invisible symbols that might be still included in the document and interfere with the page formatting. To get rid of them, you just need to highlight each of them and press Delete or Backspace. These simple steps should make the empty page disappear immediately.
However, what to do in a situation when the empty pages posing the problem are not subsequent, but instead scattered around the document between other pages with text? In that case, you will need to highlight and delete each one separately, so as not to delete the text along the way.
In any case, though it may seem problematic at first glance, deleting an empty page in Word is really straightforward.
Alternative ways to delete empty pages in Word
Verifying if your page contains any non-printable characters is not the only way of getting rid of empty pages in your Word document. An alternative way to delete a blank page is using the Editor features in MS Word. Firstly, select ‘Format’ from the ‘Home’ menu and click on the ‘Paragraph’ section, where you select ‘Show All’. Then, you search the empty page you wish to get rid of within the document and select ‘Page Break’.
This is necessary in the case you want to delete the page without inputting any changes or notifications to the rest of the document. Once you find the tool, click on ‘Delete’ to finish the process.
This method is recommended particularly when working on longer, already formatted documents that already have numbered pages, as well as a table of content.
How to delete a page with content?
On the other hand, if the page you wish to delete includes visible content (such as text or images), in order to delete it you need to first remove all the content on the page. Once the page is empty, it should disappear automatically. However, if you need to delete several pages with or without content, placed in different places across the document, the task may seem a tad bit tedious.
Thankfully, here also you can take advantage of a keyboard shortcut allowing you to delete several pages much quicker and more effortlessly, and, most importantly, without worrying about impacting the formatting and layout throughout the entire document. How to delete pages in a Word document using this method then?
First of all, you click anywhere on the page you want to delete, and then press the Ctrl + G buttons simultaneously. The combination will open the Navigation dialog box with ‘Find’, ‘Replace’, and ‘Go To’ options. Choose the latter to enter the “\page” phrase and confirm by pressing the Enter key. That will highlight the entire content of the page.
Then, in order to delete the highlighted content (and thus the page itself), you want to press the ‘Close’ button and followed by ‘Delete’.
This method of deleting pages will be effective regardless of the page layout of the document, and you don’t need to worry about affecting the page numbers nor the formatting of the content – something that you may be risking when using the manual method.
If you want to delete a page with content manually (perhaps a simpler and more intuitive method of deleting pages), simply highlight all of the visible content on the page by dragging the cursor throughout the page while pressing the left mouse button, and then double click one of the Backspace or Delete keys.
However, as mentioned, you should keep in mind that using this method might cause some unwanted changes or disruptions in other parts of the document. That is just one of the reasons why, while editing Word documents in any way, you should consider making use of the automatic functions that the software offers, such as, for example, the quick ‘Page Break’ option, or previously mentioned ‘Find’ and ‘Replace’. With these simple tricks, you will definitely save time and effort when using Word, while making sure that the edits do not affect the overall layout and formatting of the document you’re creating.
Getting familiar with the Microsoft Word – not just for deleting pages
Getting to know Microsoft Word in full will take time, but it’s best to start with exploring some of the basic, handy functionalities – deleting an empty page being an example. Good knowledge of the Office pack is a valuable skill that will prove useful at every step of your academic and professional life – starting from primary school, to university, to your job and career. This is especially critical in the face of the growing popularity of remote working and digitalisation, where .doc files are increasingly replacing traditional paper documents. It is therefore essential to get familiar with the basic tools and features in Microsoft Word at the very least, so as to be able to efficiently maneuver within the software and to know and take advantage of the plenty of useful features it offers. Knowing now your way around some of the most popular document editing tools in the world will without a doubt prove advantageous.