Microsoft Word/pagination problem


QUESTION: Happy Holiday, Suzanne!

How've you been?

I use Word 2010 with Windows 7. I converted a Word file to a PDF file, and found unexpected results.
The file is fairly large, some 100 pages. There are page numbers in the headers, many graphics and many captions.

After converting to a PDF file, I found, on some pages, that text near the bottom of one page had moved to the top of the next page, and had pushed the (next) page number down (and out of the header), along with the text that moved down (to the next page).
Such action obviously spoils the PDF file.
What is going on, and what can I do about it?


ANSWER: Changing printer drivers will often cause text reflow (see, so it might be a good idea to set the PDF printer as the active printer when formatting the document.

But what you describe could not happen if the page numbers were actually in the page header. For them to be pushed down the page, they would have to have been part of the main document text. For a start, you'll have to put the page numbers in the actual page header, using the Insert Page Number command (see Then you'll have to delete all the typed headers/page numbers from the document body. Then try the PDF again.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: hello again, Suzanne!

I use Word 2010 and Windows 7. I'm working with 2 files. One is a
100-page file with lots of graphics and chapters.
The other is brand new with no text.

When I paginate the new file, using Alt+I, then the U key, I have no problems. The first page is numbered page 1, and I choose not to show the number. The second page is numbered page 2, etc. The front matter is numbered with Latin numerals, the next section is numbered with Arabic numerals, and all is well.

But my 100-page document is something else. For the first page, looking at the bottom left of the screen, I see
"Section 1    page 1 of 100";
I don't want the first page of a section to show a page number in the header, so I don't check the corresponding check box.
But then I look at the header of the second page, and I see "iii"; the third page header shows a "iv", etc. Obviously, something is wrong. Yet, the entries at the bottom left of the screen are correct...that of the second page shows:
"Section 1   page 2 of 100"
and that of the third page shows:
"Section 1   page 3 of 100"

I recall seeing somewhere that the solution is to number the first page as Page 0, and that will result in the first page showing a "1", the second page showing a "2", etc.

But I don't know how to do this.
In any case, I need help and your reply is appreciated.

Thanks, and Happy New Year.


ANSWER: Please see my reply to your almost identical question asked yesterday. Note also that the "Page X of Y" in the status bar just refers to the total number of pages. If you want to see the formatted page number, right-click on the status bar and click on "Formatted Page Number." This number will appear to the left of the section number and should show Page: i for your first page. The fact that you're getting the wrong page numbers in the header suggests that you may have changed the starting number. Make sure that the starting number for section 1 is "Continue from previous section" and the starting number for section 2 is 1. Your pages must be numbered correctly whether or not you display a number on the page.

For more on this type of numbering, see See also for a discussion of page numbering generally.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: hello again, Suzanne

I'm not sure that I understand your advice. You write:

Make sure that the starting number for section 1 is "Continue from previous section".
What does this mean?
Further, the status bar for the first page shows:
page ii
and the status bar for the second page shows:
page iii.

How do I correct these errors?
Right-clicking the status bar only confirms these errors. How do I correct them?


With the insertion point in section 1, select the Insert tab. In the Header and Footer group, click Page Number, then Format Page Numbers... In the Page Number Format dialog, where you will see that "Start at" is set to ii, instead select the radio button for "Continue from previous section" (or at least change the "Start at" number to i).

Note that you still have not read my reply to your initial question, which contained important information that you may still be missing.
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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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