Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Starting a New Section on an Odd Page Number.

Starting a New Section on an Odd Page Number

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 9, 2019)

When writing a document that is divided into sections or chapters, it is not unusual to have each new chapter or section start on an odd-numbered page. Word makes it very easy to accommodate this need when you are creating a document. You control this through the use of sections. All you need to do is create a new document section whenever you want to start a new chapter in your document. Follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the new chapter or section to begin.
  2. Display the Layout tab of the ribbon (Word 2016 or a later version) or the Page Layout tab (earlier versions of Word.)
  3. In the Page Setup group, click Breaks and then click Odd Page. The section break appears in your document.

Anything that is typed immediately after the section break will appear on an odd-numbered page when printed. If necessary, Word will insert a blank page between information in the previous section and the information in the new section to achieve this directive.

If you already have your document divided into sections (you have already inserted section breaks, in other words), you can make sure that a section will start on an odd-numbered page by following these steps:

  1. Place the insertion point in the section that you want to start on an odd-numbered page.
  2. Display the Layout tab of the ribbon (Word 2016 or a later version) or Page Layout (earlier versions of Word.)
  3. Click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Page Setup group. Word displays the Page Setup dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Layout tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Layout tab of the page Setup dialog box.

  6. Using the Section Start drop-down list, choose Odd Page.
  7. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8725) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Starting a New Section on an Odd Page Number.

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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