What’s so special about the last paragraph marker in a Word document?

In our training sessions we often advise users not to copy the last paragraph maker when copying and pasting between documents.

What is it about the last paragraph marker that makes it so special?

It is special because MSWord associates a wide variety of formatting with the last paragraph mark, especially section and style formatting.

If you copy the last paragraph mark to a new document, then the information associated with it will be copied into the new document and may change the look of the new document. Most users will have experienced a document ‘going to pot’ having added some content from elsewhere. One answer is to copy everything except the last paragraph mark to the new document.  In order to be sure that the last mark is not copied first click on Show/Hide markers so that the non-printing, paragraph markers pilcroware visible on your screen.

Another good tip when pasting between documents is to paste using Paste Special/Unformatted text/ to avoid carrying unwanted formatting into the new document.

When copying a document that contains section breaks, it is good practice not only not to copy the section break into your new document, but also not to copy the last paragraph marker before the section break. For more information on section breaks click here.

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