How to Move Pages Around in Google Docs

As an MS Word alternative and pretty much successor, you would expect Google Docs to be aimed at the versatility and well-versed applicability. Although the web app brings a ton of ease to the table, enables worldwide collaboration, and boasts a lot of integration, it still lacks some features.

Microsoft Word allows the user to move pages within a single document using the Navigation Pane. This essential feature is incredibly useful. So, can you do this in Google Docs? How can you move pages around in this brilliant web cloud app?

Is It Possible?

Well, yes. Of course, you can move pages around in Google Docs. But what about that Navigation Pane capability from MS Word? Does it apply to Google Docs as well? Although this kind of pane certainly exists within Google Docs, things are not exactly the same. The Google Docs pane does not allow the user to move pages using it.

Therefore, the only way to move pages in Google Docs is to do it manually. Yes, by copying and pasting the content. Either that, or copying the content to MS Word (if you own it), rearranging the pages as you see fit, and pasting the rearranged content back to Google Docs.

Granted, this can be very annoying at times, but until Google Docs adds this feature to their navigation pane, these are the only two ways to do it. You can ask Google Docs to introduce this feature by navigating to Help, followed by Report a problem. Tell them about the annoying lack of a page moving feature. There are no guarantees that Google will respond, though.

Reordering Pages on Desktop Computers

Whether you are a Chromebook, Mac, or Windows PC owner, things work pretty much the same, cross-devices. This is due to the fact that Google Docs is a web-based app. In other words, you get to use it by opening your preferred (or available) browser and going to Google Docs. The moment you step into the world of the web, things are universal for all desktop devices.

  1. Step 1

    To get started, open the browser on your device and open a Google Docs document that you are working on.


  2. Step 2

    Moving the pages is as simple and also complicated as selecting the content on a page that you want to move elsewhere and cutting it. The shortcut for the Cut function is Ctrl+X, but you can also copy the content using Ctrl+C, and then delete it to the same effect.
  3. Step 3

    Now, find the location where you want to squeeze the said page in, hit Enter to add a paragraph, and allow room for the page.


  4. Step 4

    Then, paste the content by right-clicking the empty paragraph and selecting Paste from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, use the Ctrl+V shortcut.

Yes, the content that you have copied over will appear where you want it. However, some formatting issues might arise. So, make sure that you have trimmed all the extra empty paragraphs in between the lines. If you do not, all content after the page you have just moved might shift weirdly.

This method of moving the pages around might appear simple. And, in some cases, it is. However, if you constantly have to shift the pages around, you will find it somewhat annoying.

Now, if you own MS Word on your desktop device, you might want to copy over the content to the desktop app and go ahead and move pages in it. This helps you avoid all those annoying paragraph gaps that might occur during extensive page moving sessions.

  1. Step 1

    To do this, open the Google Docs file in question and select the entire content. Use the Ctrl+A function to have it all selected.
  2. Step 2

    Then, either right-click the body of content and select Copy from the drop-down menu or use the Ctrl+C function. You can also use Ctrl+X, or Cut to automatically copy and delete the content from the Google Docs file. After all, you will be replacing the content with the new, rearranged content from MS Word.
  3. Step 3

    Now, head on over to MS Word. Start a new document using whichever method you prefer. Then, either right-click on the empty space and select Paste or press Ctrl+V.
  4. Step 4

    Now, navigate to the View tab in MS Word and select it. From the View tab, select the Navigation Pane option.
  5. Step 5

    Using the Navigation Pane view on the left, click and move the various headings that you have in the document. This will do the exact same thing as the copy/paste method, but without all the gap paragraphs popping up.

After you are done moving things around, use the Ctrl+A function to select the entirety of the content and then copy it. Go back to the Google Docs file and paste the content there. That should be it.

Reordering Pages on Android/iOS Devices

As you probably know, Google Docs is very much available on smartphones and tablets. Both iOS and Android devices have their dedicated Google Docs apps.

The best way to reorder pages on your Android/iOS device is to, well, not do it on a mobile device at all. Yes, it is doable, but it is much, much easier to access the Google Docs file via a desktop device and perform the above-mentioned methods.

However, if, for some reason, you can not/do not want to use your desktop device, you can do it all in the mobile app.

Whether you own an iPhone/iPad or an Android smartphone or tablet, the principle remains the same. As a matter of fact, the principle is identical to that of the desktop device outlined above.

The only real difference here, being the fact that you can not use the right-click or the Ctrl+C/V/X/A method. To copy/paste/cut/select all things within the Google Docs document, use the standard copy/paste method for your device. Typically, it is either a tap/tap-and-hold/double-tap combination. Then keep on copying and pasting until you have rearranged the document according to your preference.

Keep in mind that long documents tend to turn into quite the navigational nightmares on mobile/tablet Google Docs versions, so expect an error margin and a dose of uncertainty. If the document formatting can wait until you get your hands on a PC/Mac/Chromebook, you can access the document using one of the said desktop platforms. Then, follow the page-moving method outlined above.

Reordering Pages – Convert to PDF

One incredibly simple way to reorder your pages is to convert it to a PDF on your computer. If you’re sending a document for review or printing you can tap the printer icon at the top and click ‘More Settings’ to convert your Google Doc to a preview in PDF format.

The PDF version will automatically open on your computer and you can use the left pane to drag your pages in the order you’d like to have them. Once done save and share with the recipient.

Although this does convert your document to a new format, it is a much simpler way to move and reorder pages.

Additional FAQ

1. How do you move pictures around in Google Docs?

Sometimes, Google Docs files may include various picture files. Of course, pictures, just like the bodies of typed content, can be moved around. Actually, the whole process is pretty much identical to the process of copying/pasting the textual content. Select the picture in question, use the copy/cut/paste commands, and rearrange things as you please.

You can also click the picture and use your cursor to move it around. Still, you will not be able to do it via a feature like the Navigation Pane.

2. How do you separate the pages in Google Docs?

Separating pages in Google Docs is an excellent way to make page moving easier for you. You can have a clearer picture of which piece of content is where and where you can move it. Additionally, if you separate the pages, you will not have to worry as much about those stray paragraph gaps.

To separate pages in Google Docs, you need to add page breaks. To do so, place the cursor where you want to insert it and navigate to the Insert tab in the top menu. Then, hover over the Break entry in the drop-down menu. Now, click Page break. A shortcut for this is Ctrl+Enter. To remove a page break, simply use the Backspace button – page breaks are deleted like any other piece of text/symbols.

3. Why is there no space between pages in Google Docs?

Google Docs will separate pages for you, just as MS Word would. When the document is printed, each page will have a corresponding physical paper page. However, there is a mode that removes the space between the pages for non-printing purposes. Whether you actually want to print out your document or enjoy having separate pages while working on a Google Docs file, you can add the space between the pages very simply.

Navigate to View in the top menu, select Print Layout, and click Print layout. This should put a checkmark next to the entry, and separate the pages for you.

Conclusion

Yes, having an easily-accessible page moving option in Google Docs would be very convenient and useful. However, until the feature is introduced, you are going to have to work around it and use one of the above-mentioned methods. Keep in mind that moving the pages around in Google Docs is always easier if each one has a page break, and if you do it from your computer. In this way, you get access to the MS Word (if you own it), which can help you move those pages around.

Have you managed to move those pages around successfully? If you have any questions, do not refrain from hitting us up in the comments section below. Our community is then more than happy to provide you with all the answers that you may need.

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