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Lesson#3 – Page Numbering, Page 1

Well, I have stalled enough, putting off this lesson as long as possible.  Why is that?  Because page numbering is the most cantankerous process I have ever used on Microsoft Word.  I have never—let me repeat that, NEVER—placed page numbers within a Word document just once.  I have found over and over again that after I think I have the page numbers all properly placed, I save the document only to find they have all shifted one way or another when I next open it.  It is perhaps the most frustrating procedure I have when putting a book together.  Nothing else gives me greater challenge.  So, I begin this lesson with an unusual disclaimer.  I will attempt to explain the process as best I can, but do not expect it to work consistently when you put it to use.  Unfortunately, regardless of version, there is some kind of inherent hiccup in Word’s page numbering process that I have not been able to discover.  Now, let’s proceed, but I warn you things can get complicated, so best to go slow and don’t be afraid to walk away and come back later!


The first thing I will advise you to do is WHAT NOT TO DO.  Don’t attempt to enter your final page numbers until you have absolutely, totally, unequivocally competed you document. Otherwise, you will be renumbering more, and the more you do it, the more screwed up your page numbers will be.  If, however, you feel you need some kind of numbering while you are working on your document, I suggest you go to the very first page and begin a basic “insert page number” process so you at lease have a number assigned to every page.  These you can use as a reference just to temporarily get around your document.


Okay, here we go.  The overall concept of numbering the pages in your book is to decide which pages will get numbers and then isolate them into different “sections.”  Word will allow you to number each section dependent or independently on the previous section.  You will need to define the various sections of your book.  Most commonly, there is a front and back section and, of course, a middle (aka body, main or mid-section, etc).  There can be “sub-sections” within these three main sections.  For example, the front section may contain the copyright information, a dedication, a table of contents, a forward, acknowledgements, etc.  You may want to assign page numbers to some of these.  For example, a forward for the book may run several pages.  These can be numbered and when they are, it is usually with Roman numerals since that helps differentiate the forward page numbers from those used for the main section of the book.


You may find you also need to divide the main section into numbered and non-numbered pages.  For example, certain pages, by protocol, should begin on the right-side page.  These include such elements as the very first chapter page or any page that begins a new section of the book.  These can cause an adjacent page (the left-side page) to be blank.  A blank page should not show a number so you will have to place this page in its own section and omit displaying its number.  It does, however, still count in the sequence so the very next page that shows a number will have to reflect that.  Here is an illustration:



















I think that’s enough to chew on for one lesson.  Before we next meet, you should decide where you want your page numbers to appear.  They can be placed in either the header (top) or footer (bottom) sections of the page.  Go to the top menu bar in word, along the upper edge of the screen, and click “insert.”  A row of icons will then open under the word “insert.”    Move your curser to the right and click on “page number” and a submenu will open.  Click on “top of page” or “bottom of page,” whichever you want.  Some writers like to put information in the header, such as title or chapter or the author’s name.  For that reason I suggest you place your page numbers on the bottom of the page so that frees of the header if you decide you want to use it later.  Now, after you indicate that you want the pages to be numbered on the bottom, you are given choices for exactly where on the bottom of the page: left, center, right.  You decide and we will pick up from there in part 2 of this lesson.  CLICK HERE TO RETURN HOME


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                                                                                                                                                                                      appear.  They can be placed in either the header (top) or footer (bottom) sections of the page.  Go to the top menu bar in word, along the upper edge of the screen, and click “insert.”  A row of icons will then open under the word “insert.”    Move your curser to the right and click on “page number” and a submenu will open.  Click on “top of page” or “bottom of page,” whichever you want.  Some writers like to put information in the header, such as title or chapter or the author’s name.  For that reason I suggest you place your page numbers on the bottom of the page so that frees of the header if you decide you want to use it later.  Now, after you indicate that you want the pages to be numbered on the bottom, you are given choices for exactly where on the bottom of the page: left, center, right.  You decide and we will pick up from there in part 2 of this lesson.