Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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: Odd Page Numbers Disappearing.

Odd Page Numbers Disappearing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 30, 2020)

Lourdes has a 38-page document and she noticed that after page 32 the odd-numbered page numbers disappear. She wonders how she can get the page numbers back.

It is unclear from the question whether the page numbers are disappearing but the pages are still there (in other words, only the even-numbered pages still show page numbers) or whether all the pages after page 32 have even-numbered pages (34, 36, 38, etc.). In either case, the answer must lie in your section formatting.

Page numbers are one of those things that can be modified on a section-by-section basis in Word. Examine the document somewhere on page 32 to see if there is a section break there. (You may need to turn on the display of non-printing characters to see the section break. Click the backwards P on the toolbar to display them.) Once you discover the section break, you can modify the formatting of the section that follows the break so that page numbers are displayed as you want them displayed.

Assuming that your page numbers are displayed in a header or footer, you'll also want to check to see if the layout uses different headers or footers for odd and even pages. If this is the case, check the header or footer for the odd-numbered pages. Ensure that the header or footer contains a page number or, if the header or footer should be the same as in the earlier pages of the document, make sure the header or footer is linked ("Link To Previous") to the header or footer in the previous section. (All of this is controlled through the Design tab of the ribbon. This tab is visible when you are working in a header or footer.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8955) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Odd Page Numbers Disappearing.

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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