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.

Starting Chapters on Odd-Numbered Pages

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 12, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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.

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 3 + 4?

2023-12-08 18:44:48

Phil Reinemann

Gene Truelove, did you ever get that photo out of the TOC?

It might be caused if the photo on page 30 is attached to a heading paragraph, like if you used a forced/manual page break (shift+Enter) at the end of the heading paragraph instead of Enter.

You can check the above if you display formatting marks. Click on the pilcrow icon on the Home tab to turn on/off formatting marks, then go to the photo on page 30 and see if the photo is preceded by a left arrow with a right-angle tail pointing up. If it is, delete that and use the Enter key to start a new paragraph.

If the new paragraph with the photo still shows in the TOC, see if that paragraph has an expand/collapse mark to the left of the paragraph. It looks like a triangle when your cursor is in the paragraph. If that's there, then click on the arrow in the lower right of the paragraph group of the home tab, and on the Indents and spacing tab, make sure the outline level is NOT one of the levels 1- 9.

It might also be caused if the photo is a heading style paragraph. Convert the paragraph to Body or Normal style.

2017-07-29 14:35:27

Lennie Bradshaw

I am by no means a word expert, but you have 3 open curly bracket and 4 close curly brackets. That looks wrong to me.

2016-12-15 18:34:55


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?



2016-07-23 23:20:01


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

2016-02-08 13:42:28


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

2016-02-03 11:39:27


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".

2015-04-05 17:02:35

Kim Murdock

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.

2014-09-17 07:48:31

Liliana Hartwig

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>" ""}

2014-09-15 20:11:55

James McIntosh

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?


2014-08-21 18:08:07

Gene Truelove

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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