Saturday, 18 June 2011

Page Numbering in a Book

How to set up a document with front matter numbered separately

Article contributed by Suzanne S. Barnhill

This article applies to Word 2004 and earlier.

Word users often ask, “How can I set up a document that has the title page, table of contents, and so on numbered with roman numerals and the rest of the document with arabic numerals starting at 1?”

Publishers call the preliminary pages in a book the “front matter.” They aren’t always numbered separately — some books start with the title page as page 1 and are paginated continuously throughout — but when there is a significant amount of front matter, it’s conventional to number it using lowercase roman numerals.

This is quite easy to do but not obvious, especially if you are inexperienced in using sections. Bill Coan’s article on “How to control the page numbering in a Word document” is a splendid reference on the general subject of page numbering. What follow are specific instructions for setting up the type of document described above.

Step 1: Separate the main document from the front matter

The first thing you have to do is create two sections in the document by inserting a section break.

  1. If you have a manual page break (Ctrl+Enter) between the front matter and the main document, remove it.
  2. With the insertion point at the beginning of the page you want to be page 1 of the main book (that is, at the beginning of the first paragraph on the page), click Insert | Break | Odd Page.
  3. If you look at the status bar, you will see that it now says “Sec 2” after the page number.

Step 2: Insert page numbering in the main document

The next step is to insert the 1, 2, 3 numbering in the main part of the document.


Select View | Header and Footer. This puts you in the header pane and displays the Header and Footer toolbar. If you want page numbering in the footer, click the Switch Between Header and Footer button on the toolbar to get to the footer pane.


On the Header and Footer toolbar, click the Format Page Number button. This opens the Format Page Number dialog.


Change the Numbering setting from “Continue from previous section” to “Start at 1,” and click OK.


Use the Insert Page Number button to insert the page number.

If a page number is all you need in the header/footer, you can use paragraph alignment (Left, Right, or Center) to position the number.

If your header/footer will contain other text (such as a running head), you can use the built-in tab stops (a center one at the center of the line and a right-aligned one at the right margin) to position text and page numbers. If you have changed the document margins, you may need to reposition these tab stops.

Step 3: Insert page numbering in the front matter

Now you will insert your i, ii, iii numbering in the front matter.

  1. Use the Show Previous button on the Header and Footer toolbar:

to move to the header or footer of the front matter (if you’re in the footer pane and need to be in the header, or vice versa, click the Switch Between Header and Footer button).

  1. Click the Format Page Number button and, in the Format Page Number dialog, change the number format from “1, 2, 3,” to “i, ii, iii.” Click OK.
  2. Use the Insert Page Number button to insert your page number. Align it with tabs or paragraph alignment as you did with the page number in the main document.
  3. You may want to format the page number as italic; this is a nice touch for roman numerals.
  4. Click the Close button on the Header and Footer toolbar to return to your document.

Step 4: Fine-tuning number placement

At this point you may be saying, “But now I have the number i on my title page. I don’t want a number to appear on my title page.” Or perhaps you want page numbers to appear in the header most of the time but in the footer on the first page of each chapter. No problem!

Numbering the front matter

  1. With the insertion point in Section 1, View | Header and Footer again.
  2. Switch to the footer pane if that’s where you put your page number.
  3. Click the Page Setup button on the Header and Footer toolbar.

  1. On the Layout tab of Page Setup, check the box for “Different first page.”
  2. You’ll see that you now have a separate First Page Header and First Page Footer. You can leave them empty, and there will be no page number on the first page.

Numbering the main document

As you’ve just seen, checking “Different first page” allows you to have two different headers and footers in a section. In fact, you can actually have three: if you check the box for “Different odd and even” you’ll have an Odd Page Header/Footer and Even Page Header/Footer in place of the simple Header/Footer. Here’s how you can use these features.

  1. If you choose “Different first page” in your main document, then you can put a page number in the First Page Footer and in the plain Header.
  2. If you also choose “Different odd and even,” you can put the page number on the left side of the Even Page Header and the right side of the Odd Page Header.
  3. Obviously, if you have more than one chapter in the document, then you’ll need to have a section for each chapter. Once you have the headers and footers set up as you want them, insert a Next Page or Odd Page section break at the beginning of each chapter.
  4. When you have multiple chapters/sections, you may need to change the header or footer text from one to the next. In order to do this, you can unlink the header or footer in one section from the previous one. To do this (before changing the text), click the Same as Previous (or Link to Previous) button on the Header and Footer toolbar to turn it off.

This unlinks the header or footer in the current section from the corresponding header or footer in the previous section (see Tip 1 below). Note, however, that it is often unnecessary to unlink the sections in order to change the header/footer content; see "Beyond numbering."

Beyond numbering

If you’re laying out a document that is complex enough to have separately numbered front matter and separate chapters in the main document, you may also want “running heads,” the headers you see in books that have the book or chapter title on one side and the chapter title or author’s name on the other. Using the “Different odd and even” setting in Page Setup, you can easily accomplish this.

If you are using the book title and author’s name as running heads, they will be the same throughout the book, but what if you plan to include the chapter title? Or maybe you’d even like to pick up subheads in the book. Do you have to change the header in every section? No!

Word makes this easy with the StyleRef field. For the sake of illustration, let’s say you want to use the chapter title in a header and that you have used the Heading 1 style for your chapter titles. In the header, place the following field:

{ STYLEREF "Heading 1" }

Although you can construct this field by hand, the easy way to insert it is to use Insert | Field. Select the StyleRef field and Word will present a list of styles used in the document. Choose Heading 1, press OK, and you’re all set. The text in your header will change each time Heading 1 changes (you can, of course, also use this for a lower-level heading or any other style).

If you’re laying out a formal book, you may find that there are pages in the front matter other than the title page that should not show a page number—the copyright page, for example. Once you have begun to understand how section breaks and especially the Same as Previous feature work, you will be able to insert additional section breaks in order to further customize the headers and footers in the front matter (for example, if your table of contents runs for several pages, you may want a running head on the subsequent pages that says “Table of Contents”).


A couple of caveats with regard to page numbering and headers/footers:

  1. Same as Previous is specific to each header and footer. For example, you can unlink the First Page Footer in Sections 1 and 2 and leave the First Page Header linked. This is what you would do if you always want a blank header on the first page of a section but want page numbers in some First Page Footers but not others. Similarly, you can unlink the Odd Page Header without affecting the Even Page Header (or the Odd or Even Page Footer). Each header or footer is linked (or not) only to the corresponding type of header or footer in the previous section.
  2. Another thing worth knowing (to save you a lot of wheel spinning) is that, while you can turn the “Different first page” setting on or off for each section independently, “Different odd and even” is a document-level setting; it’s all or nothing. Even if your odd and even header or footer will be the same throughout a section, you’ll just have to insert the same text twice.
  3. The instructions above have told you how to have different numbering in the front matter and the body of the document, but what if you want a section with no page numbers? Although it is not necessary to unlink headers and footers to restart numbering or change the number format, you do have to unlink them in order to leave a header or footer blank. For more on this (and headers and footers generally) see “Making the most of headers and footers.” The essential point, however, is that, except in instances where you can cause text to change by using a StyleRef field, anytime you want a different (or blank) header or footer, you will have to insert one or more section breaks and unlink the new section from those on either side of it.

With practice, you will learn to set up all the text and numbering that will not change throughout the document before inserting section breaks or unlinking headers or footers between sections.

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.