Page X of Y Woes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 13, 2008)

One of the most frustrating problems in Word 97 always crops up when you are trying to print those cool page numbers in your header or footer. You know--the ones that indicate Page 1 of 432 (or however many pages are in your document). Word even provides an AutoText entry that allows you to easy add the Page X of Y notation in your header or footer.

The problem is that it doesn't work. At least it doesn't work consistently. Even though everything shows fine when you look at the document in Print Preview mode, when you actually print, the second number always shows as 1 or the same number as the current page number. (It does look odd to see Page 78 of 1 on your printout.)

There are three ways you can start to fix this problem, and all of them mean extra work for you. (Perhaps I misspoke; these are workarounds, not fixes.) These three methods are as follows:

  • Turn off Show/Hide either by using the Show/Hide tool on the toolbar, or by using the control on the View tab of the Options dialog box.
  • Turn on reverse print order by using the Reverse Print Order check box on the Print tab of the Options dialog box.
  • Turn off background printing by using the Background Printing check box on the Print tab of the Options dialog box.

Once you have done any of these three, you need to update the misbehaving field in your document. This means that if the field is in a header or footer, you must first display the field. Then right-click on it (right click on the Y part of the Page X of Y portion of the header or footer) and choose Update Field from the resulting Context menu. Now when you print your document, all should work as expected.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (958) applies to Microsoft Word 97.

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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