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: Turning Off Background Repagination.

Turning Off Background Repagination

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 15, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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By default, Word automatically repaginates your document as you work. At times, this may slow down the program to the point where you consider it unacceptable. The solution is to turn off the background repagination. Word will then only paginate the document when you print or perform some other action that requires pagination (such as using Print Preview). To turn off background repagination, follow these steps:

  1. Select Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the General tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The General tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Ensure the Background Repagination check box is clear.
  5. Click your mouse on OK.

You should note that the background repagination option is not applicable in Print Layout or Page Layout view. (The name of the view depends on your version of Word.) This is because Word must automatically repaginate in that view to enable the proper display of information on the screen.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1261) 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: Turning Off Background Repagination.

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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What is two more than 2?

2022-03-12 08:22:22

Yvo G. Dries-Meeus

In Word 2003 v11, I struggled long time to get Background Repagination off at start of a Word session. Turning this off in VBA by writing "Options.Pagination = False" (no quotes of course) didn't actually take effect from an AutoExec macro, although it did work from an AutoOpen or from an AutoNew macro regarding respective scenarios.
It took me long time to realize that Word's Background Repagination setting comes in two separate parts, one for Normal view and another for Outline view, where "On" seems to take overall precedence. Still talking about Word 2003 v11, I had to turn Background Repagination off in_General Options *under Outline view* in order to get it being off by default at start of a new Word sessiion in Normal view.


2018-01-30 05:15:17

Claudia Thompson

Background repagination is greyed out but checked and it won't allow me to uncheck it. How can I uncheck it please?

This isdriving me nuts because I have the document on my Desktop for quick access and so it leaves dozens of "ghost" copies on my Desktop and I have to keep deleting them, just so they won't be so annoying to me.


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