Answered By: Kathryn Park
Last Updated: Nov 29, 2023     Views: 59148

That is because Word is treating the URL as one long word and the entire URL won't fit on one line or the remainder of the line where you want to put it.

You can split the URL by hitting enter where you want it to break. It should be someplace logical like right before or after a slash or other punctuation symbol. For instance, using this URL as an example:

Dodsworth, E., & Nicholson, A. (2012). Academic Uses of Google Earth and Google Maps in

a Library Setting. Information Technology & Libraries, 31(2), 102-117. Retrieved from



Comments (9)

  1. Thank you Katheryn Park! Thank you for posting this, I am currently writing citations for a research paper, and I am elated about this info! I have been having an issue with this for several days now, and because of this post my problems have been cleared. Thank you so much, God Bless!
    by Laneya Brechelle on Nov 29, 2019
  2. You're welcome Laneya! Glad I could help. :)
    by Kathryn Park on Dec 01, 2019
  3. Once the break is made, the link is not working any more. How can I solve that have direct access
    by Eugenio on Sep 20, 2020
  4. Eugenio, yes that's true. When you make a break in the Word document that also breaks the hyperlink. It really depends on what your instructor wants. Some do not want the hyperlink to work and just want the citation. If your instructor does want the hyperlink to work, than you can you can still make a physical break on the document, highlight the text of the URL in your paper, right click and select Link from the pop up menu. Here you can paste in the entire URL with no break and you will have the format correct with a physical break, but the hyperlink will still work.
    by KATHRYN PARK on Sep 22, 2020
  5. Hi, if you are still wondering how to break the URL but still keep the link, you need to put your cursor where you want the URL to break and press Shift + Return to add a soft return there.
    by Cailen on Mar 03, 2021
  6. OMG ... Thank you so much for the shift + return comment. Worked like a charm.
    by SRochelle on Aug 07, 2021
  7. Thanks so much for this! I hate the return of the URL on the works cited page and it invariably complicates things for students. Almost always weird formatting, too, since most civvies don't know how to wrap the URL.
    by Deborah Paige on Sep 03, 2021
  8. Can you help me with this same problem? I am unable to add a hanging indent with a link even with this advice!Armstrong, D., & Meyr, A. (2021). Risk factors for impaired wound healing and wound complications.
    by Rachel on Apr 04, 2022
  9. Hi Rachel. I was able to get it to work but found that because the URL was so long I had to experiment a bit on where to put the breaks. Once you've pasted your citation into Word, make sure to the font style and size are are set correctly as that can change where the breaks might go. I used Times New Roman, 12" font as that is most common for papers. After I pasted into word and changed to Times New Roman, 12" font I Highlighted the entire citation and applied the hanging indent. It mostly complies but sticks out because of the URL length. I put a break after search_ that left me 2 lines at the end that still did not comply. result& selectedTitle=3~ 150&usage_type=default&display_rank=3 After the result& hit delete to get all on one line. Then I used the increase indent in the Word ribbon in front of result& and it all lined up properly. It sounds like a lot of steps but it's pretty quick. Hope this helps!
    by COM Librarian on Apr 04, 2022

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