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Two Page Numbering Schemes in the Same Document

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Two Page Numbering Schemes in the Same Document.

Depending on your needs, you may want to create two independent page-numbering systems within the same document. This is not unusual, particularly in technical documents. For instance, in the header of each page you may want to show something like 'Page 2 of 7,' which means you are on the second page out of seven in the current section. On the footer of the same page, you may want something like 'Page 34,' which means you are on the thirty-fourth page of the entire document.

It doesn't work to just specify that the numbering in headers restarts at 1 in each section and the numbering in the footers continues from the previous section. While you can independently link headers and footers with their counterparts in the previous section, you cannot do that with page numbering. Page numbering is handled on a section-by-section basis; you set it once for each section, and it affects the page numbers used in all headers and footers for that section.

Since page numbering is a section attribute, you cannot have two distinct numbering schemes in the same section. Word does not provide fields that you can use for such a purpose. These are the only page number fields provided by Word:

  • PAGE. This field indicates the current page number. If you don't modify it (by restarting it for the current section or changing the starting page number), then it represents the current page number for the document as a whole.
  • SECTIONPAGES. This field indicates the total number of pages in the current section. If your document consists of a single section, then it represents the total number of pages in the document as a whole, the same as the results of the NUMPAGES field.
  • NUMPAGES. This field indicates the total number of pages in the entire document.

Using these fields, it is impossible to do develop two numbering systems, because the PAGE field is the only field that represents an actual count that increments with each page.

Those familiar with fields may also think about using the SEQ field. This field is very useful for many purposes, but directly counting pages is not one of them. You cannot use a SEQ field in your header or footer. Doing so results in an error indicating that the SEQ field can only be used in the main document.

This means that you need to actually come up with some way to run two independent counters. One counter will serve as the page number within the current section, and the other will serve as the page number for the entire document. There are several ways that you can tackle this problem, but the solutions tend to be rather involved. For that reason, I will describe the first solution here, and then provide links to the other solutions.

To place two numbering systems in a document, follow these general steps:

  1. Make sure that you separate the sections in your document using a Next Page section break.
  2. Make sure that the headers and footers of each section are not connected to those of the previous section.
  3. Make sure that the page numbering for each section restarts at 1.
  4. Just before the section break, at the end of each section, add a bookmark as follows: Section 1 bookmark is A, Section 2 is B, ... Section 26 is Z, section 27 is AA, Section 28 is BB, etc.
  5. In the header of each section put the following text and compound field (the curly brackets indicate fields, which are added by pressing Ctrl+F9):
     Page {page} of {pageref {section \* Alphabetic}}
  1. Update the fields in what you just entered. Word displays Page 1 of 3, Page 2 of 3, etc., where the first number is the page number in the section and the second is the total number of pages in the section, i.e., the page number where the bookmark is located. (The {section \* Alphabetic} field is an alphabetic representation of the section number, thus the reason that letters of the alphabet were used in the bookmarks in step 4.)
  2. In the footer of section 1 place {page} of {numpages}. This just gives the page number and the total number of pages in the document.
  3. In the footer of section 2 place the following compound field, which gives the number of pages in the previous section plus the page number of the current section:
     {= {pageref A} + {page}} of {numpages}
  • In the footer of section 3, place the following compound field:
  •      {= {pageref A} + {pageref B} + {page}} of {numpages}
  • In the footer of each subsequent section, place an increasingly long field-based formula, following the same pattern shown in step 9. You want each formula to result in the total count of pages in all sections prior to the section in which the footer is located, along with the page number within that particular section.
  • This may seem like a lot of work, but there is currently no way around it in Word. There are variations that you can try, as listed in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles.

    Word 97: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/155199
    Word 2000: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/212313
    Word 2002 and 2003: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/291283

    WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (782) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Two Page Numbering Schemes in the Same Document.

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    Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!


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    Comments for this tip:

    francis    05 Oct 2016, 21:22
    Hi! It worked for me. the problem now is the TOC. How do I update it correctly? the page numbers only becomes 1 and 2 on all contents. thanks
    Robert Johnson    18 Aug 2016, 14:46
    I realized I need to press Ctrl+F9 to add the embedded field codes. Like this:

    Ctrl F9 gives me {}

    I add "= " and press Ctrl F9 again resulting in: {= {}}

    Then I type "PAGEREF A" and add a plus sign, resulting in:

    {= {PAGEREF A} +}

    I press Ctrl F9 again and add "PAGE":

    {= {PAGEREF} + {PAGE}}

    In other words, I can't just type the curly brackets, I have to press Ctrl F9 to add "official" embedded fields.

    Thank you for the article. I hope my blunder helps others.
    Robert Johnson    18 Aug 2016, 14:08

    I can't get the bookmark and page to add.

    {PAGEREF} returns the number of pages of the first section. {Page} returns the current page of the section. But no matter how I try to add them together I either get a syntax error or doesn't return any number at all.

    {= {pageref A} + {page}}
    OferG    15 Aug 2016, 05:32
    Tried this. Doesn't work !!!! :(

    Tried a few corrections -- mainly concerning brackets.
    Keep getting either syntax errors or an empty field.
    alvie    29 Jan 2016, 06:21
    respected dir, good day;
    i want two page number scheme and i m using window 7.like first ten pages in roman and rest 100 pages in numbering numerical
    plz help me how i can do it.thanks
    best regards
    Hannah    12 Jan 2015, 05:51
    My different sections have different types of page numbers (i.e. Roman numerals for the first section, regular numerals for the rest), but the TOC has regular numerals for the whole thing...

    ian tarling    28 Nov 2014, 06:06
    In a document with sections, the page number generated in a TOC always seems to be "section.page". I just want to have the page number as the sections are meaningless when reading the document. It does not seem to be a configurable option (Word 2007).
    Deb    22 Jan 2014, 12:29
    If you use this system, how do you set up a TOC that lists the actual document page number?

    I used these instructions to set up the document and section page numbers, but now my TOC has every section starting at page 1.


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