How to Insert Hard Returns

By Amy Romero

A hard return is used in word processing applications to represent the end of a paragraph. Word processors continue sentences indefinitely until the user inserts a hard return to signal that the current paragraph is complete and a new one is about to begin. It is important to use hard returns in order to ensure proper formatting of a document. Inserting a hard return is very quick and easy to do. Once learned, it is done without much effort.

Things You'll Need

  • Word processing software

Step 1

Decide where the sentence or paragraph you are writing should end. In most cases, it is time to start a new paragraph when a topic is changing slightly or when a separate point or argument is about to be introduced.

Step 2

Insert the correct punctuation at the end of the paragraph. This will depend on the sentence that ends the paragraph. If it is a statement, use a period. If it is a question, use a question mark, and so on.

Step 3

Put the cursor directly to the right of the punctuation at the end of the last sentence by left-clicking with the mouse on the exact point you wish to place it.

Step 4

Insert a hard return by pressing the Enter key on the keyboard. This now signifies that the paragraph has ended and a new one is about to begin.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also use the Enter key to add line spaces below existing text. Simply hit the Enter key, and the cursor will move down a line, leaving blank space above it.