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Microsoft Word includes several features designed to ease the
potential pain of formatting a lengthy document, including the seemingly
mundane task of numbering pages. However, displaying the proper number on a
page can be extremely important in large documents, especially if that page is
referenced via a table of contents or an index, or is used in a footnote
reference. Whether it is an academic work such as a dissertation, or a
technical document such as a software design specification, correctly numbering
pages is necessary for effective communication.


The process to display page number information based on the
number of actual pages per section rather than actual pages in the entire
document is relatively simple. However, Microsoft has chosen not to make the
method as simple as clicking a button on a toolbar, which is all that is
required for many other numbering schemes.

Set the section break

The first step is to break your document into sections.
Place the cursor on the line where you want your next section to start and
navigate to the Insert | Break menu to get the dialog box shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Section break

Under Section break
click the Next Page radio button and click the OK button.

Page numbering

Now you need to set the page numbers for each section to
start at the number “1.” This step is a little tricky–place the
cursor at the beginning of each section and navigate the menu to View | Header
and footer. The resulting screen will reveal the appropriate toolbar (See Figure B).

Figure B


Click on the Format
page number
button on the toolbar to get to the dialog box shown in Figure C. There are other ways to reach
this dialog, but this way avoids several complications. Since page numbers are
most often displayed in either a footer or header, this method serves two
purposes. Besides setting the proper page number for a section, this method
also brings you to the toolbar where headers and footers are defined.

Figure C

Format page numbers

After setting the page numbers as you want them, click the
OK button to return to your document. You’ll have to set the page numbers for
each section in your document.

Displaying the pages

Now that everything is all set up, you can display the page
numbers anywhere you feel it is appropriate. The header and footer toolbar from
above has several default field code inserts you can use, but if you want to
display “page X of Y” where “Y” is the number of pages in
the particular section, you will have to do a little more work.

To get this format you have to enter this set of field codes
in your document or in the header or footer areas:


The key to inserting field codes is that you do not just
type in the curly brackets. The curly brackets are inserted by typing CTRL-F9,
which will create an empty set of curly brackets that you then fill in with the
appropriate codes. Take a look at Figure B for an example.

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