Page numbering seems to have a mind of its own

Dbast used Ask the Experts™
I have a 75-page Word document that is giving me fits with paginaton.

When I first created the document, I set it to start numbering the pages at 454. In the earliest drafts of the document (a chapter of a book), that worked.

Now it's time to create a new starting page number to more accurately reflect the pagination of the preceding chapters. No matter how many times I remove and recreate all the footers, the first five pages number correctly (500-504)... and then page 6 numbers itself 454. It carries on that way for a while (pages 454-459), and then instead of going to page 460 it starts with 454 again. It then does the same thing: numbers 454-459, then starts page with 454. It then manages to go from 454-485, then starts again with page 454. This occurs even though every footer is "Linked with Previous," and when I look at the format of the page numbers it says "Continue from previous section."

The document has a lot of section breaks -- I go from two column for text to one column for figures. I have seven other chapters in the book that I've handled the same way, and none of them is giving me fits the way this one is. It's as if that page #454 is buried somewhere ... but I sure can't find it.

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Dbast, I have a few questions for you:
  1. Which version of Microsoft Word are you using?
  2. Is there any difference between the page number shown on the footer and the page number shown in the status bar at the bottom of the Word window?


Good questions, Paul!

I'm using Word 2010.

The status bar shows the pagination as "page 1 of 59," "page 2 of 59," etc. It is accurate all the way through the document and doesn't change based on what's in the footer.
it probably has to do with section changes... it seems to me that the page numbering format is restarting at 454 in each section...

go to the first page where the 454 RESTARTS (i.e. - the second occurrence of 454) and click anywhere on the page.

then: Insert ―> Page Number ―> select Page Number Format ―> select Continue from previous section

since all your sections are linked, that should solve your problem:numbering
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Believe it or not, the page where it first begins to mess up already shows "Continue from previous section" -- even though the previous section is numbering correctly. On all of the pages where the page numbering decides to start with 454, it nevertheless shows "Continue from previous section."


FWIW, I do agree that the section breaks are probably the problem. I'm thinking I may just have to get rid of them all (search and replace) and start over with the formatting ...
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

Turn on field viewing and look over the field codes at the beginning of each section.  There may be an embedded field code tampering with the page numbering.

Also, if you are using your own fields and counters to insert page numbers, then the page numbering settings will have no effect on that.


Dr. Klahn, you got my hopes up -- I had forgotten about field codes. But there don't appear to be any extraneous codes at the beginning of each section. I did a search for the field codes (^d) just to make sure I wasn't missing something, but the only codes there are embedded hyperlinks and four page numbering merge codes -- four because I need one even page setup, one odd page setup, and two first page setups.

I did notice this time around in the scroll bar on the right, the pagination jumps around -- what should be page 6 is actually 454, etc., as I describe earlier. But I cannot find a thing that is forcing the page numbering to randomly start with 454 three times in the document.
perhaps creating the existing document in a new one by copying one section at a time will help..

these problems CAN happen if there are two section breaks in a row (one for SAME page and a second for NEXT page)

select the first section (without the section break) copy, then paste into new document...

insert a section break

copy the next section, paste into the new document and see what happens.


Thanks all! Paul Sauvé, that worked although it was awfully tedious given the three places the page numbers messed up on me! But it worked, and for that I am thankful.

Dr. Klahn, I really do appreciate being reminded of that field viewing option. My solution might have been buried there, but I sure couldn't find it.
i've been a Word user for longer than i'd rather not say!

i have solved many problems, but sometimes the only solution is just create a new document

Word gets more confused than i do.....

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