page numbering a document in word

Copper Contributor


I am trying to automate page numbers in my document. I have removed all section breaks— but one. I cannot figure out the sequence of commands to “link to previous”— when I do it, it does not work. I must be clicking the wrong things because it won’t paginate.


It is a long document so I really need the pages numbered.


Any help in solving this would be much appreciated. 


5 Replies



To find all section breaks in Word, display nonprinting characters and switch to Draft view. That way, you will be able to see the breaks more clearly.


Once you have removed all the section breaks, the Link to Previous (Same as Previous) option is no longer relevant, because the setting applies to header (or footers) in different sections.


Between sections, Word maintains a link for each separate type of header (and each separate type of footer). For example, the odd page header may be linked (or not) to the odd page header in the preceding section.


dear Stefan

Thank you for that explanation. I did not know that links were created between sections. I don’t honestly it get still— but that’s okay. I got help through Microsoft support to get my document paginated today. But let me try asking another few questions. 
1. How can I see which entities are linked together?

2. The part I don’t get are page numbers and headers and footers. I am guessing page numbers need to be linked in the background or the program could not number them sequentially. But why isn’t there a way to see these links? That would make it more understandable. 
4.  Lastly, I never understood what headers and footers are all about. They can be visible or be closed and not visible. I don’t really understand what purpose they serve. 

Don’t feel compelled to have to answer all this.  
There is no guarantee that I will get it. For me,  using Word is often a crap shoot as to whether I can get a document properly formatted or not. Perhaps I should have learned a different and easier publishing software long ago instead of slogging on with this application!



Each section can have up to three different headers (and three different footers); this is the case if both "Different odd and even" and "Different first page" are selected in the Page Setup dialog box. 


A header (or footer) link is always between a header (or footer) and its "neighbor" of the same type in the preceding section. After having activated the header/footer view, you can tell if a given header is linked to its corresponding type of header in the preceding section.


You need a section break to restart the page number, for example, but you don't have to unlink headers or footers to accomplish that. Unlinking is required only if you want to modify the content in one header (or footer) in one section.


For more, see and

Oh my gosh. I get it. Thank you for that explanation Stefan. That demystifies much. Very clear. Thanks again! Have a great day!!



I'm glad I could help. :)