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Microsoft Word/Creating doodle boxes on every even page


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I am using word (I have access to 2007 and 2010) to develop a workbook for a class I am going to teach. I want every even page after the table of contents (ie the left hand side of the book once it is bound) to have the same space made up of three boxes (two with lines for notes and one blank box). We are using digital printing so the document needs to be converted to a pdf after its perfect.  I've tried to use the footers on every even page to create this effect.  With in the footer I used the insert text box and created three boxes. It looks great but there is one line of text that should just transfer over to the next page which keeps showing up on the bottom segment on top of the boxes. Is there are better way to format this and make the text automatically continue onto the next odd page and not in the boxes I've created?  I'm also open to any suggestions on how to format the boxes or blank space with lines on every even page in any other way.  We want to document to adjust automatically in case their are edits to the texts.

I am happy to send you an example for you reference if you like.

Word is just really, really bad at this sort of task. It is not possible to have a "wrapped page"--that is, a full page of graphics (of any sort) with text from the preceding page flowing to the following page. Any graphics have to be anchored to a text paragraph on the page. Even when they're anchored to the header or footer, there still has to be text on the page or it doesn't exist.

So you're left with several approaches, none of them easy. I'd say probably in the long run the method you've started with might end up being the simplest (though it will be a lot of work), but you'll have to wait until editing is complete to use it because you have to artificially break the text flow before each even page and then restart on the following odd page. If the last line of the page happens to coincide with the end of a paragraph, it's fairly straightforward: insert a page break after the paragraph, insert a blank paragraph, then another page break, then continue the text. If you have to end the page in the middle of a paragraph, and you are justifying the text, you have to insert a line break (to expand the last line), then format the paragraph mark as Hidden so it will fit on the page. If you're using a first-line indent, you'll have to apply an unindented style to the first paragraph on the next odd page so it will appear to continue from the previous odd page. And you'll have to do that for every even page. Whew!

Another approach, provided you can leave the even pages unnumbered, would be to create a document of just the odd pages (with calculated page numbers) and a single page for the even pages. PDF them separately, then edit the PDF to interleave the even pages. That, of course, requires that you have Acrobat to do the manipulation of the PDF, and the calculated page numbers won't show up correctly in the TOC, so that's not really a very good option, either.

If the workbook is relatively simple, you might be better off creating it in Publisher instead (you can still enter and edit the text in Word, then paste it into Publisher). Publisher, being page layout software, is much better adapted to this kind of layout because you can have text boxes on the odd pages that flow continuously back and forth, and it's easy to duplicate the content of the even pages. The drawback to Publisher is that even the latest version (Publisher 2013) doesn't support creating an automatic TOC, so you would have to create that by hand, and of course if you have footnotes or an index (which I doubt you do in a workbook), then Publisher can't do those, either. Also, if you're used to Word, Publisher can be quite a bear to work with (I've never been able to master the way it handles tables).

Bottom line: There just isn't any good way. Sorry!
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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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