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Page Numbers

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Once the sections of your book have been set and unlinked [see ‘Section Breaks‘], you will be able to apply different page numbers to each section – i.e. Arabic numerals [starting at ‘1’] for the Chapters and Roman numerals [starting at ‘i’] for the Back Matter.

How to set Page Numbers inside Section Breaks

To set the first page number, navigate to the start of Section 2 – i.e. the start of the chapters.

Double click inside the Footer area. This opens the ‘Headers and Footers Tools, Design’ tab.

Click Page Number  to display the Page Numbers menu:

The first four items on the menu allow you to choose where on the page the page numbers are to go. Click the page number position you prefer. This will cause the page number style menu to display.

In the previous example, the position is ‘Bottom of Page’ and the style is ‘Plain Number 2’.

Click the page number style you prefer. You should now see a page number in the Footer, but it will not be ‘one’. For now, Word is still counting pages from the very beginning of the document.

To make the first page of Chapter 1 start at ‘one’,  you have to format the page numbers.

How to format the Page Numbering

Make sure the cursor is located on the first page of Chapter 1.

Next, double click inside the Footer area and select the page number shown there – i.e. so it is highlighted. 

Click Page Number on the Ribbon:

When the Page Number menu is displayed, click Format Page Numbers..  as shown.

You should now be looking at the options of the ‘Page Number Format’ dialog box.

These options include the ability to change the appearance of page numbers as well as specifying where they should start.

The number format  will allow you to specify Arabic numerals [1,2,3] for the chapters.

To change the number format from i, ii, iii to 1, 2, 3, click the small arrow as shown.

This will cause a drop down list of number formats to display.

Click the format you prefer.

By default, the page numbering is set to ‘Continue from previous section’.

To specify that Chapter 1 should start at page number ‘1’, click the Start at: button [as shown]:

Word automatically starts the page numbering for the section at ‘one’. You can also set the ‘start at’ number manually.

Click OK to save the changes to the page numbering.

Next, navigate to the beginning of Section 3 and again, double click in the Footer area to open ‘Headers and Footers’.

Add a page number to the first page of Section 3 as you did before, but this time, format the numbering as Roman [i, ii, iii] numerals.

Make sure ‘Start at’ is selected and set to ‘i’.

Your Word document should now have:

  • no page numbers in Section 1,
  • Arabic page numbers [starting at 1] in Section 2,
  • Roman page numbers [starting at i] in Section 3.

Troubleshooting Page Numbers

You can sometimes experience page number problems that have nothing to do with the section breaks. Some of the most common involved page numbers that appear truncated or do not show up in Print Preview at all.

If you are experiencing problems like these, the cause could be the Word Footer or the printer that is installed with Word.

The diagram below represents a Word page:

The grey area represents the whole, A4 page in Word.

The blue area is the printable area of the page – literally the area your printer is capable of printing.

Although Word allows you to set whatever margin you please, the printer attached to your computer has its own printable area, and this area over-rides any margins set by Word.

The yellow area at the bottom is the Footer. The page number is positioned near the top of the Footer.

If the Footer area does not extend up into the printable area of the page, or does not extend high enough, the page number will either not show or may appear truncated [as in the example].

Solution A – push the Footer up into the printable area

Double click inside the Footer area to display the ‘Header & Footer Tools, Design, tab:

Next, locate the ‘Footer from Bottom’ setting [as shown]. This setting determines how far from the bottom of the paper the Footer will be.

In the example, the ‘Footer from Bottom’ setting is shown as 0.3”.

Click the small ‘up’ arrow next to the setting until the page number is pushed up into the printable area of the page.

Solution B – temporarily disable your printer

In Windows, your computer can have a number of different devices installed – such as printers, scanners, fax machines etc – but only one will be the default device. If your printer is the current ‘default device’ you can temporarily disable it by making some other device the default.

The printer will still be installed, but it will not be available. This means two things:

  1. Word will not be constrained by the printer’s printable area.
  2. You will not be able to print with the printer while it’s not the default device.

When the page numbering in Word has been completed, you can simply return the default device to the printer, and it will work again.

In Windows 7

On computers running Windows 7,  click the Start button and then select ‘Devices and Printers’ from the Start menu.

When the list of devices is displayed, the screen should look something like this, and the default device will be shown with a green tick:

To change the default device, right click on one of the other devices and select ‘Set as default printer’ from the drop down menu.

To make the printer the default device again, right click the printer and select ‘Set as default printer’ from the drop down menu.

In the next section we will look at exporting your Word file as a PDF.

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