You are here:

Microsoft Word/Paginating & section breaks


Our court system has recently required the electronic filing of papers along with hard copies.  Where I used to create a legal brief in 4 parts, paginating only the text and not cover page, last page, or the tables, I now must assemble in one document and then convert to pdf.  So far, so good.

But now I must find a way to avoid pagination on the first 3-5 pages of document (the cover and tables) and have numbers begin at first page of written text.  I've inserted a section break after the preliminary pages and that seems to allow me to start paginating where needed.  But (a big "but"), I cannot get Word 2003 to stop trying to insert numbers in Section One.  And sometimes it gets really weird, doing things like numbering that section backwards!  Or simply repeating the same number, etc.

I've spent hours trying to figure this out!  Looking at Page Layout View and tinkering with format of page.  Going to Page Number Format box and checking off "start at page 4."  Nothing seems to work.  Even tried manually numbering each page and that was a big mess, what with footnotes on some pages.  

Before troubling you, I checked my MS User's Guide (Chap 11) and then I searched the net for anyone having same problem and a possible answer but each query was a bit different.  Asked some colleagues but got the same handbook answer that isn't seeming to work.

Thanks so much for any guidance you can provide.

Hi Rod,

Thanks for the question.

To avoid pagination on cover page and page 1 as you describe, turn off 'same as previous' or 'link to previous' depending on the version of Word you are using.

Assuming the version is 2010,

1.  Navigate to the section of your Word document for which you want to unlink the footer. You can use any page in the section that you want to unlink, as long as the section isn't the first section in the document.
2.  Double-click on the footer.
3.  Click the "Link to Previous" button, located in the Navigation module on the ribbon.
4.  Click the "Close Header and Footer" button, located on the right end of the ribbon.

Hope this helps you with your project.


Mary Lindsey

About Microsoft Word
This topic answers questions related to Microsoft Word stand-alone or Microsoft Office Word including Word 2003, Word 2007, Office 2000, and Office XP. You can get Word help on formatting text, tables, tabs, fonts, styles, general Word layouts, bullets, headings, and outlines, using templates, toolbar modifications, and using Track Changes. You may also find tips on linking Word and Excel embedded objects including charts. This site does not provide a general Word tutorial nor the basics of using a word processor. It provides specific answers to using Microsoft Word only. If you do not see your Word question answered in this area then please ask a Word question here

Microsoft Word

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Mary A Lindsey


I can answer all Microsoft Office 2000 to 2007 Word questions regarding formatting, styles, shortcut keys, simple macros, templates, forms, TOC, TOA, Index, Cross-References, etc. NO VBA.


Over 15 years as a legal Word Processing support personnel and Microsoft Word Master Instructor


Microsoft Office Master Instructor

©2016 All rights reserved.