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How to Reorder, Change, and Move Pages in MS Word

December 31, 2021
Author
Inkit Team

MS Word can do a lot of things.

But sometimes, it feels like you make one minor layout or text change - or simply try to reorder the pages, and the whole document goes flying.

While you can always ‘undo’ your last choices, sometimes, getting your pages to appear in the order you want them to can feel hard.

So, in this guide, we’ll cover all the different ways you can change, move, and reorder your pages in MS word.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How Reordering Pages in MS Word Works
  • How to Reorder Pages in MS Word With The Navigation Pane
  • Reorder Pages in Word With Keyboard Cut and Paste Shortcuts
  • How to Reorder Pages in MS Word With Mouse Cut and Paste
  • Other MS Word Best Practices When Reordering Pages

How Reordering Pages in MS Word Works

The thing with using Word is that it has some very specific ways certain actions are done.

And keeping track of all the shortcuts and how some of its features work can be confusing.

For example, you know that Word provides you with a brand new blank page every time you fill up one.

However, you’d think Word would also allow you to reorder pages just as easily. 

But that’s not the case.

Word doesn’t automatically number your pages for you. Instead, it just sees a bunch of different blocks of whatever text you punched in. 

One way to effectively reorder pages on your own is to cut and paste those blocks of text and then choose to repaginate them.

This would simply move the text around in your pages.

But if you’re using Word 2010 or a newer version, you have the added luxury of the Navigation Pane feature. This is something we’ll cover in detail below.

Word has seen its fair share of updates and fixes over the years, but the Navigation Pane seems to make things a lot easier in terms of managing your documents.

In any event, the Navigation Pane boasts a feature in itself that lets you easily drag and drop pages at will, assuming those pages have headers to differentiate them. 

And this brings us to the first method of reordering pages in Word. 

Let’s take a look at how to reorder pages within Word with the Navigation Pane.

How to Reorder Pages in MS Word With Navigation Pane

MS Word navigation pane interface

If the Navigation Pane is new to you, don’t worry, it’s quite simple.

  1. To begin, select the “View” tab.
  2. Click on the “Navigation Pane” check box (found in the “Show” group). This action will cause the Navigation Pane to appear on the left of your screen.
ms word navigation bar

3. While under the Navigation Pane, click on the tab labeled “Browse the Headings.” This appears as a single lengthy page. 

word-navigation-headings

4. Now, your document will be broken down into headings in the Navigation pane. Please note that if you haven’t yet assigned any Heading Styles, only your document and subheadings will display.

5. Next, click on the heading you wish to reorder. Essentially, your goal is to drag the header to where you want it within the Navigation Pane. You can ascertain where you’re moving the header by a dark blue line that appears underneath it.

word change heading order

6. When ready, release your mouse button to effectively drop the header in its new location. The changes you make in the Pane will reflect in the actual document.

With just a few clicks in the right place, you can make the necessary changes you want to your documents. Once you get the hang of it, you will find using the Navigation Page to be exponentially easier than simply cutting and pasting text within Word.

Reorder Pages in Word With Keyboard Cut and Paste Shortcuts

If you prefer to stick with more traditional methods, cut and paste still can work like a charm. Many users prefer this method due to its simplicity and years of muscle memory.

If you prefer using the keyboard, here’s how to reorder pages within Word by cutting and pasting text.

  1. First, you’ll need to open Word, followed by your document.
  2. Find the pages you wish to reorder and scroll down until you find the exact page you need to move. 
  3. Then, move your mouse cursor to the very beginning of the block of text you want to be reordered.
  4. With your cursor in position, press and hold “Shift” on your keyboard.
  5. While holding down this key, simultaneously tap the “Page Down” key. Doing this allows you to select a full screen of text. 
  6. If you wish to select one line at a time, hold “Shift” and the “Down Arrow” instead. Simply continue tapping the “Down Arrow” key to highlight more lines of text (if you do this while also holding down on your left mouse button, the text will highlight faster, speeding up the process.
word reorder with cut

7. Once you have all of the text highlighted that you need, press “Ctrl+X.” This will cut the highlighted selection, thus automatically repaginating the remainder of the document.

8. Now, you’re ready to find a new location for the cut text. Click your mouse cursor where you wish to drop the text and press “Ctrl+V.” This will paste the highlighted text you recently cut. 

It’s worth noting that Word will automatically move any text or graphics in your document down and to the right. This is done in order to make appropriate space for the text you cut.

Alternatively, you can right-click the text with your mouse and select Cut.

word cut text


Then, right-click again on an empty space in Word and select Paste.

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How to Reorder Pages in MS Word With Mouse Cut and Paste

Although slightly slower overall, cutting and pasting with your mouse is just as effective as using your keyboard.

  1. Open the Word document you wish to reorder. 
  2. Scroll down to the page you need to move. 
  3. Hold down on your mouse’s left button and use the cursor to highlight the area of text you wish to relocate. 
  4. To do this, simply drag the cursor down and to the right. Please note that you can also highlight one or several lines at a time. But here, we’re looking at reordering an entire page, so be sure to drag your mouse cursor to the very end of the page of text.
  5. Let go of the left mouse button to finish highlighting the page.
  6. The next step is to click on the “Home” tab.
  7. Once there, you should see the “Clipboard” section of the Pane on the very left-hand side. Click the scissors icon to cut the highlighted text. 
  8. Your document will then automatically adjust its text to accommodate for the removed information.
  9. You can now paste the recently cut information to anywhere you like in the document. Find the area you wish to drop this text and move your mouse cursor back up to the “Clipboard” section of the “Home” pane. Finally, click “Paste.” 

You have now effectively relocated a page of text from one part of your document to another. You may do this as needed any time you wish to reorder pages in Word.

Other MS Word Best Practices When Reordering Pages

Some of these may be obvious, but here are some extra tips and tricks you might want ot keep in mind when reordering pages in Word.

How to undo mistakes in Word

It’s not out of the ordinary to make occasional mistakes when reordering pages in Word.

If you accidentally cut too much or not enough, fear not. You can always take advantage of the “Undo” command and start over.

To do this, you can simply press “Ctrl+Z” (Windows) or “Command+Z” (Mac) to perform an immediate undo command. So let’s say you selected more words than you intended and already performed the Cut command to remove the text.

Suddenly, you’re missing more words that you didn’t mean to cut. Pressing “Ctrl+z” will instantly make those cut words reappear (as well as the other words you initially selected).

What if you made multiple mistakes in a row? 

No problem; simply perform the “Ctrl+z” command. But this time, continue holding “Ctrl” while tapping “z” as many times as you need until you’ve undone all of the mistakes you made.

Access clipboard history in Word of what you copied

Another tip you should keep in mind has to do with the Clipboard History feature.

By pressing “Windows Key” and “v,” you will prompt the Clipboard History window to appear. 

If you haven’t already turned on this feature, Microsoft Word will prompt you to do so. 

Once activated, you can see all of the previous commands you’ve performed in this window, thereby allowing you to easily peruse your past actions. You can also press the arrow as highlighted in the above image to pull up your history.


word clipboard copy

From there, you can instantly bring up your commands to make your editing life a whole lot easier. 

So let’s say you want to access specific text that you previously cut. The Clipboard History window will allow you to select so that you can bring it up and use it however you please.

This makes it easy to quickly paste text that you cut throughout the editing of your Word document. You can refer back to this window as often as you like to assist you in streamlining your work.

What the ctrl key does in Word

Finally, it’s also worth pointing out that any time you see commands listed above that call for “Ctrl+[letter],” they are referring to the “Control” key. 

On most keyboards, this key is labeled as “Ctrl.” But just in case yours is labeled differently, that’s what “Ctrl” stands for.

Furthermore, the “+” that’s listed in the various commands is only serving as “and” or “as well as,” not the actual symbol. Therefore, the command “Ctrl+v” means pressing “Ctrl” and “v” at the same time.

For most shortcuts, the ctrl key is replaced by the Command key on a Mac.

Conclusion

So, to recap, it’s surprisingly easy to mess up your MS Word layout when editing your documents.

Hopefully, after reading this guide, you now know how to change, move, and reorder pages and text in your Word document.

You can perform all of the above actions with your mouse, keyboard, or simple shortcuts. It’s all a matter of your preference.

Once you’ve nailed these shortcuts, editing Word pages should be a breeze.

Good luck!

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