How to Move Pages in Word

Yes, you can rearrange pages, even in lengthy documents

What to Know

  • Add headings to each page, then select the text > Home > Heading 1. Then, go to the last line of each page and click Insert Page Break.
  • Open the navigation pane and click and drag the headings to move the pages in the order you want them.
  • You can also use cut and paste to rearrange pages, but it's much more tedious.

This article includes instructions on moving pages in Microsoft Word 2019, 2016, and Office 365 using the Navigation pane and copy and paste.

How To Set up the Navigation Pane To Rearrange Pages

Microsoft Word doesn't see a document as a collection of separate pages but as one long page. Because of this, rearranging Word docs can be complicated. One of the easier ways to move pages in Word is by using the Navigation pane.

To rearrange your pages in the Navigation Pane, you have to place a heading on each page of your document using Microsoft Styles.

  1. Open the Microsoft Word document you want to rearrange. At the top of the first page, create a hard return by pressing Enter on the keyboard.

    The cursor in a blank line on Microsoft Word.
  2. Type the information you want to use to indicate each page in the document. In this example, that information is Page [number].

    Text in a Microsoft Word document.

    You can use any text that makes sense to you, because you'll probably remove it later, so if you prefer headings that are relevant to the text on the page, use that. The one thing you probably don't want to do is use the exact same text on each page since that will make it difficult to tell in the Navigation pane what page is what when you start rearranging things.

  3. Next, select the text and click Home.

    The Home tab in Microsoft Word.
  4. In the Styles selector, select Heading 1.

    The Heading 1 option on the Styles menu in Microsoft Word.
  5. Next, go to the bottom of the page and place your cursor at the end of the last line (or at the end of the last full sentence) and click Insert.

    The Insert menu in Microsoft Word.
  6. From the Insert ribbon select Page Break. This creates a clean page that can be easily moved from the Navigation pane.

    The Page Break option in Microsoft Word.
  7. Repeat that process for each page in your document.

How To Rearrange Pages in Word With the Navigation Pane

Once all your pages are ready, then you can begin to move them around in your Word document until they are in the order you prefer.

  1. If it's not already open, you'll need to open the Navigation pane in your document. To do that click View.

    The View menu in Microsoft Word.
  2. On the View ribbon, make sure there is a tick in the box next to Navigation Pane. If there is not, click the option to select it.

    The Navigation Pane option in Microsoft Word.
  3. The Navigation pane should appear on the left side of your screen. There, you can click and drag any of the headings that are shown.

  4. As you drag a heading, you'll notice a dark blue line appears below each heading as you drag past it. If you release the heading at that point, it will be moved to the location of the dark blue line.

    Moving headings in the Navigation Pane in Microsoft Word.
  5. As the pages are moved, the document in the main Editing Pane will also move around and the text you moved (which should be the text of the entire page) will be highlighted. You'll also see the headings in the Navigation Pane in the new order.

    A section of a Word Document that has had pages rearranged.

Tips for Changing the Page Order Using the Navigation Pane

Moving pages around in Word is easy with the Navigation pane as long as there are headings in the document. If what you're after is to move sections of a document, you can do that as well as long as there is a heading structure in your document.

For example, if you already have a multi-page document that you've used any level headings in when you enable the Navigation pane, that structure will appear. You can then click and drag the headings and only the text under that heading will be moved.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is if you're moving a section that uses lower-level headings, the lower level headings will move along with the top-level heading. So if you have a section with Heading 1, two Heading 2s, and a Heading 3, the Heading 2s and Heading 3s will move along with the Heading 1.

Although Microsoft Word has some very well-designed styles that include multiple levels of headings, you can create your own styles with heading designations and use those as well.

Moving Pages in Word with Cut & Paste Actions

Another way that you can move pages in your document is to cut & paste the text from one location to another. To do this, highlight the text you want to move, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + X to cut it, and then move your cursor to the place you want the text moved to in the document and use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + V.

Cut & Paste in Word is a fast way to move small amounts of text around a document, but if you're trying to move sections that are pages long, using the heading structure and Navigation pane is a much faster (and easier) way to rearrange your document.