Hard Returns are used when you want to make a new paragraph.  You simple hit ENTER.  This is called HARD RETURN.  So, what are SOFT RETURNS? They are used when you want to break the line when ENTER does not work.  A good example is when you are creating SMART ART.  SMART ART uses bullets in order for you to type the information in the objects that create the SMART ART. You use the task pane connected to the SMART ART to type the information.  If you wanted to type a name and place the title below it, you need to use SOFT RETURNS.  Typing the below example and using the ENTER key will produce two separate paragraphs creating two bullets (since a bullet is represented as a paragraph).

For Example:

Click on the Show/Hide by clicking on the icon on the paragraph group (a backwards P). This show all of the codes that will not print out.  Again, if you enter the next information like the title in SMART ART, you will get another bullet.  DO NOT type in the object, let WORD do it.  You simple, type in the name then (instead of ENTERing), SHIFT+ENTER. Here is a good way to remember, SHIFT looks like the word SOFT.

Notice in the above image, the symbols after each line.  The left arrow matches what is display on the ENTER key on the keyboard (new laptops may not have this symbol). We all know that you need to use the SHIFT key to use the secondary symbols on the keys.  If you wanted to you use the % symbol located on the number 5 key, you would use the SHIFT key to enable it.

Unfortunately, in SMART ART, it will not display the codes.  However, I use this all the time, especially when using bullets.  If you closely to the SMART ART below, I typed in my name and immediately I hit SHIFT+ENTER to type in my title.

And that’s it for the mystery of HARD RETURNS and SOFT RETURNS.