Word let’s you divide documents into sections. Those sections can get their own page numbers (starting at anything you like, and even with different formats). One possibility is that the whole document is numberered normally starting at one. This is what most people do with a mix of portrait and landscape pages.
In Word, you can also print only selected pages from a document.
So how do you do this when you’re drawing pages from different sections?
Supposedly Word does a good job of this, but I seem to always find it problematic. In fact, I often have Word not only report errors, but sometimes act as if it printed correctly without delivering an error message at all!
This is most annoying when doing a mail merge. In this, Word will create a document in which each letter is its own section.
Here’s what I found with a document with about 200 sections, each of one page each (so 200 short letters). The pages are not numbered in the footer. Even so, Word does keep track of them in the status bar at the bottom of the screen (it shows section numbers here too).
What you’re supposed to do when doing a custom print is list a range of consecutive pages:
- This way if they are consecutive: 10-17 (prints all 8 pages)
- Or this way if they are singletons: 10,17 (print just 2 pages)
This all goes out the window when you have sections in your document.
What you’re supposed to do is something like this. For the sake of example, suppose my document is composed of 3 page letters. So page 10 is the first page of the 4th letter, and page 17 is the second page of the 6th letter. You’d enter something like the following in the custom print box:
- This way for all the consecutive pages: p1s4-p2s6
- Or this way for just the two pages: p1s4,p2s6
EXCEPT THAT, OMFG, THERE’s A TYPO IN THE OFFICIAL MICROSOFT WEBPAGE THAT COMES UP MOST OFTEN WHEN YOU GOOGLE THIS ISSUE.
That’s right. At the bottom of this page there’s a table that everyone uses to figure this out, and it shows that the above would have the section numbers before the page numbers, so:
- So: s4p1-s6p1
- Or: s4p1,s6p1
Aaargh! If you actually type it that way, you get an error message that is generic, and completely uninformative about this specific problem.
If you actually read that webpage, it does have the correct form in the body of the explanation. Somehow, the author reversed those in the table, and many thousands of hits later this page is still unchanged.
Now, there is a saving grace if your sections are all one page. If this is the case, you can just tell Word to print sections rather than pages, like so: s4-s6. But if you have multi-page sections, this will get you complete sections. That can be rather a lot.