Formatting page numbers, headers, sections in a book with chapters.

Copper Contributor

I have a 600+ page document. A novel. It has 43 chapters divided into five "parts."

I need to have alternating headers. The one on the left-hand pages (even numbered) should be my name. The one on the right-hand pages (odd numbered) needs to be the title of the book. I could do all that, but here's where it gets complicated.
There are pages of "front matter" before the first numbered page, which will be the title page, which is actually on the 9th physical page of the book. Then it has to skip to the next rhp, and that's page 3, the beginning of the first chapter. HOWEVER, no page number or header can appear on first 3 pages; no headers or footers or page numbers on any chapter starting page, or on Part One, Part Two, etc. The numbers and headers on those pages need to be suppressed. The first page on which the headers and page numbers appear is page 4. 

Also, every first page of every chapter must be the next right hand page. Ditto for the Part pages.
The people I've spoken to for support at Microsoft don't know how to do this. They give me instructions, but as soon as it gets a little bit complicated, they are GUESSING, and then they are GOOGLING. And in case you think that I have made up this complicated procedure.... pick up any book, any novel with chapters. For at least the last 75-100 years, all novels (and most non-fiction, too) with few exceptions have used these same publishing layout conventions.

I need help from someone who really knows Word and doesn't have to guess or Google. I need someone who does this kind of thing. An expert. I look forward to your response. Somebody at Microsoft, I'm sure, has more than a superficial knowledge and understanding of Word.
Richard Goffman


If you reply to this and I don't get back to you right away, that'll mean I probably went to bed. THANK YOU.

4 Replies


See Numbering Front Matter by Suzanne Barnhill, MVP .

Here are links to information about using headers and footers. These are the tools you need to use.

While someone at Microsoft would know how to do what you want, that person is not the one on the other end of chats or their phone support; at least not at the initial stages.

Thanks!! I'll let you know if I am now able to accomplish this.
Charles, this isn't working. for example, Suzanne Bzrnhill's instructions are siu[pposed to be relevant to my version, MS365 for Mac. But whenever she says click here and you will see, it is never correct. Do you know anyone (yourself?) who I could pay to do this? I'm really at my wit's end.


Hi Richard,

I do not have a Mac. The principles involved are the same on a Mac however. The document structure is the same.

The Mac version has:

  • Different First Page
  • Link to Previous
  • StyleRef fields
  • Different Even and Odd
  • Odd Page Section breaks
  • Page Format dialog

i.e., everything that Suzanne mentions

The document structure is the same in either version.


If needed, take your book to a public library or some other computer that has the Windows version and follow the steps on a copy. Then you can still edit it on the Mac.