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: Repeating Column Information on Each Page.

Repeating Column Information on Each Page

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 29, 2012)

Katie has a Word document that is basically a giant table. The first column is a step number. The second column is information or user directions. If Katie has a step that is very long, spanning several pages, she wants the step number from the first column to show up on each page so she always knows what step number she's on.

There is no way to do this in Word. The reason is that if a row spans multiple pages, there is no way to "start over" the contents of a column on subsequent pages while letting the other columns continue in a normal fashion. (You can repeat entire rows at the top of each page, but not repeat only selected columns in a row.) The workaround is to make sure that rows don't span pages, instead always starting at the top of each new page. That way you could manually type the information to be repeated into the first column on those subsequent pages. This, of course, is rather tedious and prone to problems if your pagination changes due to edits or layout modifications.

There is a larger problem to be aware of, however. If you use Word's table feature to organize your data in the manner described, you run the risk of your documents being more subject to corruption than if you organize your data differently. I've known people who have created documents that consist of tables spanning hundreds of pages. (Not a single row, mind you, but a table with many, many rows.) Invariably those documents are headed for problems because Word doesn't do a great job on keeping such long tables stable.

It is a better solution to look at use multiple smaller tables or, better yet, to create documents that use tables very sparingly. This may require a rethinking of how your data is laid out on the page, but the benefit of not ending up with corrupted documents is well worth the time.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6616) 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: Repeating Column Information on Each 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting Rid of Many Hyperlinks

Need to get rid of hyperlinks that result when you paste information from the Internet into your document? Here's the ways ...

Discover More

Filtering Columns

The filtering tools provided in Excel make it easy to filter a data list so that only certain rows are displayed. What if you ...

Discover More

Cannot Open Word 2007 Documents Even When Saved in Earlier Version

Some people report that even if they save a Word 2007 document in a format suitable for earlier versions of Word, the ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Footnotes for Tables

Word includes a powerful feature that allows you to add footnotes and endnotes to your document. What if you want them at the ...

Discover More

Indenting a Table

Insert a table into your document, and it normally appears aligned with the left margin. Word allows you to indent the table ...

Discover More

Table Header Rows after a Manual Page Break

Insert a manual page break into the middle of a table, and you may find that subsequent pages of the table don't always look ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share