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I have seen this question posted on multiple forums: How do I insert a new line or paragraph BEFORE an existing table in MS Word? An example of such a Question is located here:

How do I insert text above a table at the top of a Word document?

The answer is most usually as follows:

  1. Place your cursor in the top-left cell prior to any text.
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

Sounds very simple and seems to work for many. But for many others, like me, it did not. When Ctrl+Shift+Enter is depressed, NOTHING happens.

I am using Microsoft Word for Microsoft 365.

See the answer that worked for me below.

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  • This would have been better posted as an answer in the earlier thread. Feb 6, 2021 at 20:54
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    Are you using the Desktop version? Operating System? Feb 6, 2021 at 20:59
  • If you are on a Mac, you would use Cmd+Shift+Enter. support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/… Feb 7, 2021 at 0:42
  • Charles Kenyon... I wanted to post the answer, but it would not let me. I am a new user... Not enough rep. So there's that. Rich Michaels, I am not making this too difficult. Ctrl+Shift+Enter did NOT work, because the keyboard shortcut was NOT there. So I posted what I had to do to get it back. I am not the only one this has happened to. The only idea I have for why this happens is that maybe some other software altered the keyboard shortcut. I don't know, but it was gone, now it's not.
    – Rokbottoms
    Feb 7, 2021 at 7:34
  • Note that the leftside CTRL andthe right side CTRL are different keys, and might behave differently. Try both sides!
    – Aganju
    Mar 1, 2021 at 2:44

1 Answer 1

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I think I have found what may be a solution for some:

When Ctrl+Shift+Enter is depressed, by default, this is effectively inserting a Column Break.

If nothing is happening for you, you need to check if your keyboard shortcut for inserting a Column Break is active/correct:

  1. Go to Quick Access Toolbar and select "More Commands." Quick Access Toolbar Screenshot
  2. Select "Customize Ribbon." Keyboard Shortcuts Screenshot
  3. Select "Keyboard shortcuts: Customize."
  4. Scroll down and select "All Commands." Customize Keyboard Screenshot
  5. Under "Commands," scroll down and select "InsertColumnBreak."
  6. When I checked my shortcut assignment in the "Current keys" field, nothing was there... But if you have something there, you should be able to use whatever keyboard shortcut is in the field to insert the column break (line before the table). Try it out. If it still doesn't work, I don't know what else to tell you. However, if there is no shortcut assigned (field is blank), or you want to change the assigned shortcut, continue on:
  7. Place your cursor in the "Press new shortcut key" field.
  8. It seems Ctrl+Shift+Enter is considered the default keyboard shortcut for the "InsertColumnBreak" function. Of course you may use whatever key combo you want. Just be careful you don't use one that is already assigned to another function, unless you just don't care to lose that function. Knowing this, depress Ctrl+Shift+Enter (shows up as Ctrl+Shift+Return in the field), or your other chosen key combo, to record your new keyboard shortcut.
  9. Click "Assign."
  10. Enjoy!
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  • The other method Ctrl+Shift+Enter is likely to work and does not require a QAT modification. Ctrl+Shiftt+Enter is the keyboard shortcut to insert a Column break in the Windows Version of Word. On the Mac it is Cmd+Shift+Return. Anyone finding this should first look at the page you linked in your question.superuser.com/questions/175177/… Feb 7, 2021 at 0:40
  • Charles Kenyon, thanks, yes, I know all of that. What I am saying is that Ctrl+Shift+Enter did NOT work, because the keyboard shortcut was NOT there. So I posted what I had to do to get it back. I am not the only one this has happened to. The only idea I have for why this happens is that maybe some other software altered the keyboard shortcut. I don't know, but it was gone, now it's not.
    – Rokbottoms
    Feb 7, 2021 at 7:38
  • When you have a problem like this in the future, try starting Word in safe mode as a diagnostic to check on whether other software is messing with your system. support.office.com/en-us/article/… Feb 7, 2021 at 17:42

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