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 Numbers per Physical Page.

Two Page Numbers per Physical Page

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 10, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


It is not unusual to need to print information on half sheets of paper. For instance, you may need a page size of 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" for your document. This is a handy size, as you can get exactly two pages on a landscape-oriented letter-size piece of paper. You can easily use Word's column feature to set up your document to print in two columns on the paper, and then cut the paper in half after printing. The problem comes in when you want to print page numbers on each of your mini-pages. Word calculates page numbers based on the physical page, not on some virtual page you may want to set up. There are ways around this particular problem, however. The first (and easiest) solution is available if you are using Word 2000 or a later version of the program. Simply follow these steps:
  1. Do not use columns to set up your document, unless you want columns to appear on each of your mini-pages.
  2. Place your page numbers in the page headers and footers as you normally would.
  3. Choose Page Setup from the File menu. Word displays the Page Setup dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Paper Size tab (Word 97 and Word 2000) or the Margins tab (Word 2002 and Word 2003) is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Margins tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

  6. Choose the Landscape button.
  7. Display the Margins tab.
  8. Select the 2 Pages Per Sheet check box.
  9. Adjust page margins as desired.
  10. Click on OK.
  11. Print your document as normal.
Word takes care of placing two pages on each physical page printed. If you are using an older version of Word, then you need to use the columns approach to set up your own virtual pages on each physical page. To place the page numbers (and have them work properly), you need to use calculations within nested fields. The following two fields show, respectively, how you would create the page number for the left virtual page and the right virtual page on each printed page:
{= {PAGE} *2-1 \* MERGEFORMAT }
{= {PAGE} *2 \* MERGEFORMAT }
Each pair of braces in this code is created by inserting a field using Ctrl+F9. In other words, position the insertion point where you want the first page number, press Ctrl+F9, and type the contents. To create the {PAGE} field, again press Ctrl+F9 and type the word PAGE within the resulting field braces. When you are done inserting the fields, they should look just like what is shown above. To find out more information on the topic of multiple page numbers per page, visit the Word MVP Web site:
https://wordmvp.com/FAQs/Formatting/Print2Pages.htm

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (201) 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 Numbers per Physical Page.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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