Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Turning Off Background Repagination.

Turning Off Background Repagination

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 4, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


By default, Word automatically repaginates your document as you work. At times, this may slow down the program to the point where you consider it unacceptable. These times are more likely to occur when (1) you are using a long or complex document, and (2) your computer has limited resources. The solution is to start working with you document in Draft view and turn off the background repagination. Word will then only paginate the document when you print or perform some other action that requires pagination (such as using Print Preview).

To turn off background repagination, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you are viewing your document using Draft view. (You can set this using the View tab of the ribbon or by clicking the Draft view icon near the bottom-right of the document window.)
  2. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and later versions, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  3. Make sure the Advanced option is selected at the left of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. In the General area of the dialog box (scroll down a bit to find the area), make sure the Enable Background Repagination check box is clear. If the option is grayed out, then go back to step 1—it will only be grayed out if you are using something other than Draft view.
  6. Click on OK.

You should note that the background repagination option is only applicable in Draft view, as stated in step 4. When using any other view (Print Layout view is the most common), Word will automatically enable the option to allow background repagination. This is because Word must automatically repaginate in that view to enable the proper display of information on the screen.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5975) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Turning Off Background Repagination.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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