How to Insert Hard Returns

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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.

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.


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.