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Starting Chapters on Odd-Numbered Pages

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: Starting Chapters on Odd-Numbered Pages.

One of the formatting features of Word allows you to force your headings (if you use styles) to begin on a new page. What if you want the heading to begin on an odd-numbered page, however? You can insert section breaks that force the next section to start on an odd page, as has been discussed in other issues of WordTips. But what if you don't want to use section breaks?

Unfortunately, there is no automatic way to start a heading on an odd page, based solely on the formatting you apply to the heading. This means you will need to insert some sort of special indicator that tells Word you want to jump to an odd page. If you don't want to use section breaks, you can cleverly force Word to an odd page by using field codes. The following compound field will force an extra page break if the field occurs on an even page:

{IF {=MOD({PAGE},2)}}=0 "<page break>" ""}

When you are building this field structure, make sure you replace <page break> with an actual, physical page break. When Word encounters the field, it determines the current page number and divides it by 2. If the remainder is 0 (meaning this is an even-numbered page), then the page break is inserted, thereby forcing your text to the next odd-numbered page. If the remainder is 1 (meaning this is an odd-numbered page), then nothing is inserted.

To use this field-based method, simply insert the field (press Ctrl+F9 to add each set of field braces) immediately before the heading or text you want to start on the odd-numbered page.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1560) 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: Starting Chapters on Odd-Numbered Pages.

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Comments for this tip:

Jaanksmes    15 Dec 2016, 18:34
Dear Allen,

Thanks for this. I will be needing this quite soon.

Does this "formula" have to be placed at the end of each part of the text where you want a new section to start on a odd numbered page, or can it be placed at the beginning of the doc and be applied throughout the text?

I don't suppose that could be applied to a doc Template, could it?


RedNectar    23 Jul 2016, 23:20
This is a great tip - pity about the syntax errors though (unequal braces, unquoted "0"/missing space before 0). Here is a version that will work:
{ IF { = MOD( { PAGE} , 2 ) } = "0" "even" "odd" }

To turn this into a conditional page-break that only get inserted if the page is an even numbered page, change the expression above to:

{ IF { = MOD( { PAGE} , 2 ) } = "0" "{ QUOTE 12 }" "" }

More detail at https://rednectar.net/2016/07/24/conditional-page-break-in-ms-word/

Andreas    08 Feb 2016, 13:42
First of all, thank you for this interesting article.
It is exactly for what I am looking for.
It does not work and this is not related to Word 20010 or 2013. Probably it is my inability to implement this solution.
Anyhow, during troubleshooting I discovered the number of braces in the example above is not correct. I could not figure out how to create a simple page break within the field code. A <ctrl> <enter> will create a page break immediately, but not the needed esc. seq. for the field code. The remarks below from TC are interesting but I was not able to reproduce it according the description.
I do appreciate your feedback in this matter.
Many thanks in advance
Regards --- Andreas
TC    03 Feb 2016, 11:39
I got it to work. Create your macro field using the CTRL+F9 method with the text and/or {ADVANCE} formatting you want to appear. Then go somewhere else on a word document and insert a page break manually: >Goto INSERT menu >Click PAGE BREAK under the Pages group. This will put the code on the screen like this: ".........Page Break........."

Then physically select all of that on the screen and COPY into memory (I use CTRL+C). Then go back to your { Field " text"} inline macro and paste (I use CTRL+V) that Break code at the place where you want the force page break to be.

My understanding of this IF statement is that you can only have two "items" in "quotes" at the end. In my code the first set of brackets is " "; meaning show a single space character if there is an even number of pages. If not, then my second quote string contains the " PageBreak {Advance} Text I want to appear".
Kim Murdock    05 Apr 2015, 17:02
Nope, I wasn't able to make it work, either. If it is evaluating the formula correctly, it doesn't correctly apply the page break.
Liliana Hartwig    17 Sep 2014, 07:48
Thanks for this tip, it is one I could use quite often, but I wasn't able to get it to work properly.

{IF {=MOD({PAGE},2)}}=0 "<page break>" ""}

James McIntosh    15 Sep 2014, 20:11
Thank you for this tip, it looks like it would be very helpful, but I couldn't get it to work even after lots of trying.

The formula display has 3 opening brackets "{" and 4 closing brackets "}" - would it be possible for you to review and modify?


Gene Truelove    21 Aug 2014, 18:08
Pictures created in the text moved into the Table Of Contents at some point of updating. Can not figure out how to get the photo not appear in the TOC.

The same photo appears later on page 30 where it suppose to appear.

Any idea how I can determine what is causing this problem?

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