Saturday, July 9, 2011

WordPerfect - Protect Text Across Page Breaks

WordPerfect Howto: Keeping Text together across page-boundaries. Block Protecting text across page-boundaries. Block protecting lists.

A document has a margin-release header (somewhat like a hanging indent) that is approaching a page-boundary. The text below the header crossed the page-break and the header is now orphaned.

Ideally, the heading and at least a sentence or two of its text should stay grouped together on one side of the page-break or the other. Standard "Widows and Orphans" won't work in this example because the header is technically a separate paragraph.

The "improper way":

The improper way to fix this problem is to ram a manual hard-page-break [Ctrl-Enter] above the header, forcing the header and its text to the next page. This solves the immediate problem but becomes a maintenance headache.  If you use a hard-page-break, it may end up in the middle of a page as other text is inserted or deleted; sooner or later, you will be forced to clean up the mess.

  • Manually typing Hard-Page-Breaks [Ctrl-Enter] in any flowing text should be avoided. Manual page-breaks require too much maintenance over the life of the document.
  • Widow and Orphan controls do not apply here because technically, the "header" is a separate paragraph.


"Block-protect" the header and (part of) the next paragraph, locking them together as one object. As the blocked text reaches a page-boundary, it leaps to the next page as one group. If text above is deleted, and enough space becomes available, the entire block automatically moves to the previous page.

  • Highlight the header and at least two sentences into the paragraph. Often, it is easier to highlight the entire next paragraph.
  • Select menu: Format, "Keep Text Together"
  • Select [x] Block Protect

The text-header and next paragraph cross the page-boundary as one entity.

Reveal codes will look like this:

Click image for larger view, click "right-x" to return
  • With a hanging Header, as illustrated above, start highlighting to the Left of the the codes. In other words, highlight left of the HdBack Tab and Bold.
  • Block protect *all* headers and their next paragraphs, even if they are not at risk of crossing a page boundary. This saves you the trouble of chasing them as the document's length changes.
  • If the next paragraphs are "long", block-protect only the first few sentences -- but in general, I tend to block the entire paragraph.

  • Use this same technique to block-protect items in a list.
  • Block protect the entire list (if short), or at least the first several items (if long)
  • Block protect the list, even if it is not at risk of a page-break.

  • Often, as I'm writing long papers, I don't bother protecting the text until near the end -- ignoring all page-breaks, letting the text fall where it may. Then, starting at the top, I go through the document, protecting all headings and lists. The paper will be perfect and it will survive all future edits.

Macro Hint:

Block protecting text is a common occurrence in long papers. Because it is used so frequently, I recommend writing a simple WP macro and assigning it to the never-used F1-Help. With this, you can quickly protect text without wading through the menus.

The "block-protect" macro is short and can be recorded, or you can use this two-line macro:

Application (WordPerfect; "WordPerfect"; Default!; "EN")
BlockProtect (State: On!)

Related Articles:
WordPerfect Page Numbering for School Papers
WordPerfect - Hanging Indents / Paragraph Headers
WordPerfect X5 - A Quick Review

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