Tuesday Tirade: Word Documents

I knew you’d find something.”

Adding page numbers to a Word document.

Does that send shivers up your spine? Induce a feeling of nausea? Make you utter words that you never want to say in front of your mother? Bring on a headache? Cause you to run away screaming or just sit and pull on your hair?

If you answered “Yes” to any of those, then . . . You’re normal.

An astute reader of my latest book pointed out that there were no page numbers in my paperback. Well, that was interesting, I said. I never noticed. I can’t remember the late time I noticed (or used) page numbers in a book that I was reading. So, I went into my manuscript, and lo and behold, no page numbers.

My last book had ’em. Why doesn’t this—wait a minute, I chose not to name my chapters, so a Table of Contents would look odd—so maybe that’s why. Well, that’s easily remedied, I said (see where I’m going with this?).

Here is a handy guide to adding page numbers to a Word document:

  1. Doing “A” produces result “B”
  2. Result “B” is not what you wanted
  3. Reading the help menu directs you to do “A” but only if action “C” is selected
  4. Following step 3 produces result “D”, but numbers start on the wrong page
  5. Repeating step 3 produces a different result entirely
  6. Using you preferred search engine, spend an hour locating everyone else in the world with the same problem.
  7. Read “Easy steps to insert page numbers in Word.
  8. Yell at screen, “That’s what I did!”
  9. Try something else and get something else which looks close but numbers start at “1” and disappear on subsequent pages.
  10. Do a sequence of steps that you will never be able to repeat and marvel that all the page numbers are there, but—you didn’t want to start on the very first page, but the page with chapter 1.
  11. Following more research, create a “section break” which, if the instructions are correct, should solve the problem.
  12. That doesn’t solve the problem, but does result in two sections with both interlocking and independent connections.
  13. Take a deep breath
  14. No, Deeper.
  15. Do everything you just read in ever permutation possible until—
  16. Hey, there they are. Roman numeral for the first 6 pages, then regular starting on chapter 1.
  17. Stop. Slowly save the document.
  18. Walk away.

Ah. Now I remember why I didn’t add page numbers—or maybe I just forgot.


Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella trilogy, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.

My new book page: http://books.linesbyleon.com/

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C’mon, space stuff!

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Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Published by Leon Stevens

I am an author, composer, and an artist. I published my first book of poetry: Lines by Leon – Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020 and a book of original classical guitar compositions. My latest book is a short story compilation of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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