Using Enter/Return Key

To Create a Blank Line

White space is important in any word processing document. It makes the document more attractive, guides your eye, and increases legibility. While different programs offer a variety of ways to control this white space, one of the easiest is to use the Enter (sometimes known as the Return) key. Look at your keyboard. Chances are the Enter key is larger than the others. This, in itself, is one indication about this versatile key's functional importance.

Hitting the enter key once will give you a blank space between lines. You can repeat the process as often as you want. Be careful about where you put the cursor, however. Be sure it is at the end of the line. The computer will do exactly what you tell it. Accordingly the blank space will appear in funny places, if that is what you intend.

Inserting space betweeen paragraphs is probably the most popular Enter/Return key use. If you have single-space the paragraph, and want to distinguish one paragraph from another, simply hit the Enter/Return key after the last word. You should absolutely not use a paragraph indent in these cases. The blank line is sufficient to indicate a new paragraph's beginning.
Sometimes you will want to begin a new line, but not have any additional space between it and the previous line. You can accomplish this by doing a Shift + Enter. That is, hold down the Shift key at the same time as you hit the Enter key. This is particularly useful when you want to keep two words together that would otherwise have been separated onto different lines.


Notice in the image above that the word "to" is dangling alone out in space. To fix this, and make your document more attractive, place the cursor in from of "to" and hit Shift + Enter. The "to" has scooted down to the next line and rendered the entire paragraph more attractive.

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