OK, I'm writing a scientific report in Word. I have automatic figure numbering active which is being used in a table of figures at the start of the document.

Each figure has a label (automatically generated) and a short title, followed by a more lengthy description. I don't want the descriptions to end up in the table, so I've added a paragraph break between the title and description. I don't actually want a line break at this point, so I have hidden the paragraph mark via the fonts menu.

This means that a paragraph break appears when I have my formatting marks active, but is invisible when they are turned off (or when the document is printed). I would rather keep the formatting marks on (it makes the document much easier to edit) but not keep adding the extra line which would be invisible in the finished document - because it messes with the page numbering.

Is there any way of showing the formatting marks, without adding a line break at these hidden paragraphs?

Alternatively, is there a way of breaking a paragraph without also adding a line break?


  • The labels are likely formatted as a Caption style. If they're not, you should use that style or something similar. Then you can modify the style to create extra space after the paragraph mark without a line break and it will be consistent throughout the document.
    – PeterT
    Mar 4, 2019 at 14:26
  • Not sure how that would help? I essentially want to add a paragraph break (to make sure I have a clean contents page) which doesn't appear in the text. - adding space would just mean I always had a line break after the caption - but I can do this already. Or have I misunderstood?
    – Will
    Mar 4, 2019 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


So, it turns out what I needed was a "style separator" which is pretty damn arcane. In fact it is (apparently) undocumented. There is a command style-separator which is available to add to the quick access toolbar, or you can simply Ctrl + Alt + Enter to add one.

Inserting a style separator between the short caption and longer description restricts what ends up in the final table of figures at the front of the document, but doesn't add a paragraph break. NB it doesn't work within tables though, so you need to add it to text and then cut and paste the whole lot into a table.

  • Man, you just solved a long standing problem for me, about how to refer to literature item "[1] First publication" as just "1" not "[1", so you can do links like [1,3] automatically. To anyone wondering: 1) first type the reference as "1] Reference", then create the link, then go to the line above, type "[" and then, like Will said, Ctrl+Alt+Enter, and possibly delete a blank character appearing ([ 1]). And voilà!
    – MrBrody
    Apr 9, 2021 at 11:21

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