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  1. #1
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    Unwanted page numbers on blank pages

    I just finished setting up the headers and footers for my novel and, to my infinite surprise, everything came out right. Except, I have page numbers on the blank odd pages I inserted to force new chapters to start on an even page. Publishers don't have that and I don't want it either. Granted, they are smarter than I am, but still. Is there a fairly easy way to have the page numbers continue in sequence but not show on the blank pages? I have odd and even headers and footers (page numbers in the footers), if that makes a difference. I am using Word 2002.

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    You don't need to insert pages to force chapters to start on an even page if you use an Even Page section break instead of a page break. This will eliminate the unwanted page number (and any other page header/footers) on an automatically-inserted blank page. A blank page will only be inserted if necessary to ensure that the section starts on a page numbered as you specify (odd or even). This is a much better approach than forcing a page break because it will ensure a correct starting page type for the section even if future edits add or remove content that would necessitate removing a forced page to avoid having unwanted empty page.

    For Word after 2003, use Page Layout > Breaks to select a section break. In earlier versions of Word, use Insert > Break. You can choose to have a section start with an odd, even or next page number.

    Section breaks give you much more flexibility in how your page headers work: you can use the Page Setup dialog to set up different headers for first, even and odd pages and can use field codes (like STYLEREF) to automatically carry the chapter name within the header or footer.

    BTW, are you sure you want chapters to start on an even page? Books normally start numbering on the recto (right) sheet after the cover so an odd-page chapter start is more typical. (An even page is on the verso (left) side in a two-page spread.)

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Agreeing with Eric. I no longer have Word 2000 on my computer but I checked in Word 97 and his directions apply.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Eric...

    Excellent advice. I think that will solve my problem. I meant odd (right) page for starting chapters. It's just that when I look at a two page spread, my mind goes one, two.

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    Yes, I know what you mean about the 1-2 in a 2-page spread; when you view a PDF with that view selected, it starts with an empty spot (for page zero?) but then shows the remaining spreads correctly.

    Sections are notoriously underused by Word users -- and neglected in many training courses. Very simple documents don't make obvious use of many of the features, but every Word document has at least one section. I always recommend setting the Status bar options to include the section number (right-click in the Status bar to customize it) so you can see which section you are currently working in. Page setup (margins, paper, header/footers), page numbering, and several field codes are section dependent.

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    Hello, I have been working with section breaks in my thesis, but I haven't been able to get rid of the unwanted page numbers on the automatically-inserted blank pages. That is, the page numbers in my footers are configured so as the next section starts on an odd page, but the even pages that are inserted between the end of a section and the start of the next one do display a page number. I am using Word 2013. Might this be the reason? Thanks

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    Carlos, I have tested and confirmed that Word 2013 does not put page numbers or other header/footer text on even pages that are inserted by an Odd Page section break, either with or without the Different Odd & Even Pages option. The header/footer text appears only if there is a "real" even page at the end of the section, or if there's a manual page break before the section break.

    Turn on nonprinting characters by clicking the ¶ button on the Home tab, and look at the end of a section that displays the unwanted even-page number. If there's a dotted line that says "Page Break" at the end of the visible text, delete it. There should be only a double dotted line that says "Section Break (Odd Page)".

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to jjfreedman For This Useful Post:

    Carlos Teixeira (2014-10-02)

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    Dear JJFreedman, thank you so much for your careful response. As stupid as this may seem, there was indeed a page break in addition to the section brake. The problem is solved now.

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    So .. what if I *want* page numbers on blank pages?

    I'm inserting section breaks to force Word to start new sections on an odd page. But in my case, I actually want numbers on the blank even pages. How can I make this happen?

  11. #10
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    This is difficult because it is a violation of publishing norms.
    You have to do what people who wrote earlier had to clean up from their documents. This will make editing a real pain.

    You can put empty paragraphs at the end of your sections so that there is an actual page. In this case, you might be better using a "new page" section break rather than an "odd page" section break. Then use blank paragraphs to force the numbering.

    http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/sections2007.htm
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Kenyon View Post
    This is difficult because it is a violation of publishing norms.
    Not sure what you mean by that ... I've been a tech writer for 27 years, and this is standard in technical manuals. See ftp://public.dhe.ibm.com/ps/products...-db2f0e971.pdf, between pages xvii, and xix, as an example.

  13. #12
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allanrisk View Post
    Not sure what you mean by that ... I've been a tech writer for 27 years, and this is standard in technical manuals. See ftp://public.dhe.ibm.com/ps/products...-db2f0e971.pdf, between pages xvii, and xix, as an example.
    I agree that this book has footers on otherwise blank pages. Pick up a novel. Look at the blank pages.

    I have read that this is a publishing convention. I am not in that industry.

    Microsoft recommends adding a manual page break before an odd-page section break to generate a header/footer on the blank page.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  14. #13
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    According to the Chicago Manual of Style, new sections should start on a recto (right, or odd-numbered) page "keeping left-hand page blank". This self-publishing blog (www.self-pub.net/blog/creating-proper-blank-pages-in-a-book-layout/) agrees, and has a good explanation of how to use section breaks to achieve it.

    While some technical manuals do require numbers on all pages, they typically also want any empty pages to include something like "This page intentionally left blank" — presumably to remove any ambiguity about a reproduction problem causing content to be missed.

  15. #14
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    A field in the body of the document coded as:
    {IF{=MOD({PAGE},2)}= 1 {QUOTE 12}}
    or:
    {IF{=MOD({PAGE},2)}= 1 "{QUOTE 12}¶
    This page intentionally left blank¶
    "}
    respectively, will automatically insert a blank page if the page on which they occur is an odd-numbered one.

    To get the same effect for an even-numbered page, change the '1' to '0'.

    Such a field would be used with ordinary 'Next Page' Section breaks (NOT Odd/Even Page Section breaks) to separate chapters and placed after the final '.' in each chapter (i.e. immediately before the 'Next Page' Section break).

    With such an arrangement, your header & footer content will be replicated on the otherwise empty page.

    Note: The field brace pairs (i.e. '{ }') for the above examples are created in the document itself, via Ctrl-F9 (Cmd-F9 on a Mac); you can't simply type them or copy & paste them from this message. Nor is it practicable to add them via any of the standard Word dialogues.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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