Starting Over At One

Do you have a Word document with several chapters or sections that need page numbers?

Did you know that you have a choice? Besides choosing where and what type of numbering, did you know that you can pick to have all the pages of the document numbered consecutively, or to have each chapter start the numbering over? Or maybe you need a combination of the two?

I don’t know about you, but I was certainly interested in finding out how to make this decision instead of letting Word decide what to do with the document.

So, let’s get right to the details.

To begin, we should discuss an aspect of document structure: section breaks. If you have a document with different sections or chapters and are looking for the ability to start numbering over for some or all of them, you’ll need to create section breaks between them. (Insert menu, Break choice and make a selection from the Section break section).

Now, to insert page numbers, you use the Insert menu, Page Numbers choice.

When the Page Numbers window opens, make the usual choices of page number placement, then click the Format button.

In the Page Number Format window, you’ll find the usual choices pertaining to number formatting. We’re interested in the bottom section on “Page numbering.”

The two choices offered here are the difference between continuously numbered pages and starting over at chapters.

  • Continue from previous section” will link the current section with the prior one and keep your page numbering continuous.
  • Start at” will disconnect this section from the previous one and allow you to restart the numbering. You should note that when you make this choice, you can control the beginning number with the field provided.

It would also then stand to reason that you could combine these two options throughout your document, choosing to restart numbering at some places and not at others.

With all choices made, click OK to return to the Page Numbers window and then click OK again to return to your document.

Now that you know where to find the options, the decisions are all yours to make!

~ April