Section Breaks

In this final installment of how to set up book pages for publishing, we look at section breaks in Microsoft Word. Section breaks let you do a number of things. The most important ones for our purposes are:

* Restart page numbers from section to section–between front matter and chapters, for example.

* Restart footnote and endnote numbers from chapter to chapter.

* Use different running heads from chapter to chapter.

Let’s say you’ve got your whole book in one giant document. (Yes, that’s how I like to work.) You’ll now want to separate your chapters with section breaks. To do so:

1. If you’re not already in Normal view, switch to it by clicking View > Normal. That will allow you to see the breaks you’re going to insert.

2. Go to the first place you want to change page numbers, note numbers, and running heads. The first page of your preface will do nicely.

3. At the top of the page, insert a section break by clicking Insert > Break > Page break. Under “Section break types,” select “Odd page” (if you want to go the traditional book-publishing route). Then click the OK button. Your document should now include a double-lined section break labeled “Section Break (Odd Page).” If you already had a manual page break there, get rid of it.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 at the beginning of each chapter in your book.

Microsoft, catering as usual to office workers rather than publishing professionals, has set up Word by default to have headers and footers from section to section be the “same as previous.” That is, if you set up running heads in one section, they’ll automatically continue into the next. But in book publishing you don’t want them to be the same; you want them to be different.

One way to “unlink” them is to go to your second section (your preface, for example), click View > Header and Footer, and then click the “Same as previous” button on the Header and Footer toolbar. (To see which button is which, rest your mouse cursor over each button for a few seconds until the ToolTip appears.) Then repeat the procedure for each chapter (section) of your book. Failure to unlink headers and footers will eventually drive you mad.

An easier way to unlink them is to use the following macro:

Sub UnlinkHeadersFooters()
Dim curSection As Section, curHeader As HeaderFooter
For Each curSection In ActiveDocument.Sections
For Each curHeader In curSection.Headers
curHeader.LinkToPrevious = False
Next curHeader
For Each curHeader In curSection.Footers
curHeader.LinkToPrevious = False
Next curHeader
Next curSection
End Sub

If you don’t know how to use macros like that one, you can find out here:

Once the headers and footers are unlinked, you can set up headers, footers, and page numbers for *each section* as explained in last week’s newsletter:

While you’ve got the Header and Footer toolbar available, click the Format Page Number button and tell Word how you want page numbering to work from the previous section to the current one. You can “continue from previous section” or “start at” a number you specify. If you’re going from front matter (with Roman numerals) to a chapter (with Arabic numerals), “Start at” is the option you want to use.

And now for those note numbers:

1. Click Insert > Reference (in Word 2002+) > Footnote.

2. Select Footnote or Endnote as appropriate.

3. Click the Options button.

If you’re using Footnotes, you can set note numbers to:

* Continuous (throughout the book–not recommended).

* Restart each section (chapter, that is; the traditional method).

* Restart each page (unorthodox but elegant).

With endnotes, only the first two options are available, since endnotes don’t appear on each page.

Click the OK button to finish up.



Hilary Powers wrote:

Jack, is there any chance of making MegaReplacer see Language settings? My latest oops is in U.K. English throughout, and it’d have been pleasant to use MegaReplace to fix the files in one fell swoop. (It turns out that AutoCorrect, where a lot of my shortcuts lurk, is language specific, so I can’t wait to find out–but it’d be a real enhancement.)

I replied:

How about using MultiMacro to do this? You could record a macro that:

1. Selects all.

2. Sets language.

Then have MultiMacro run the macro on your files.

Hilary responded:

I recorded the guts of the macro you described, which turned out to be


Selection.LanguageID = wdEnglishUS

Application.CheckLanguage = True

and stuffed it into the macros I use (via MultiMacro, of course) to set the working template for each job at the beginning. Hey presto! No more need to think about language settings.

You can learn about MultiMacro here:


John Eagleson wrote:

I’m trying to do something that is a kind of variation on MegaReplacer, but I haven’t yet found a tool in your arsenal that does it.

A simple example:

I want to search for “January,” and when I find it I want to be able to stop and edit the term. Depending on the context I may want to precede it with a nonbreaking space (20 January), follow it with a nonbreaking space (January 21), abbreviate it, or leave it as is.

When I’m finished I want to then hit or some other key and find the next instance of January.

When I’m finished January I want the macro to do the same with February, and so on.

Do you have a way to do that?

I replied:

My Go2Text macro will kind of do what you need. You can use it to find a word, such as “January,” and all succeeding instances of “January,” but once the word was found, you’d have to make the changes manually. (scroll to the bottom of the page)

You wrote that the replacement would depend on the context, so one way to approach the problem is to figure out what the context is in each case. For example, one context would be “January” preceded by a space and one or more numbers. Another context would be “January” *followed* by a space and one or more numbers. In wildcard terms:

Find what:

([0-9]{1,2}) (January)

Replace with:


Find what:

(January) ([0-9]{1,2})

Replace with:


And so on.

Then, once you’ve identified the various contexts, it’s a fairly simple matter to set up the wildcard Find and Replace strings (with February, March, etc.) to feed to MegaReplacer.

If you need more information on Find and Replace with wildcards, see the paper on advanced searching that came with MegaReplacer.

You might also be able to use some of the information in this newsletter article:

John responded:

I think I found one way to do what I’m trying to do with MegaReplacer.

In my example of finding all the names of the months and pausing at each one to allow editing, I want to be able to do this without typing the names of the months each time.


1. Set up a file with the names of the months:


February| etc.

Only the pipe is needed here since I’m not going to be replacing anything yet.

2. Run MegaReplacer with Mark Automatically checked. Now all the months are marked.

3. Search for the CheckMe character style. I use CTRL+PGDN to move from one month to the next (aka BrowseNext).

Thanks for your help–and your marvelous macros!

You can learn about MegaReplacer here:

Many thanks to Hilary and John for their questions and solutions.



Steve Hudson’s Indexing Add-in

Steve Hudson, the Word Heretic, has done it again, with his Indexing add-in for Microsoft Word. If you’re creating indexes in Word, you know about the difficulties involved, not the least of which is having no way to jump from an index entry to the text it refers to. Steve has solved that problem; his indexing add-in creates *clickable hyperlinks* from index page numbers to the pages they refer to. Click on a hyperlink and jump to the text, where you can tweak and twiddle to your heart’s content. In addition, the add-in highlights the entries so you can actually *see* them for a change. You can learn more–and download the complete documentation–here:

If you’re indexing in Word, you owe it to yourself to try this excellent new product. And while you’re at Steve’s website, be sure to check out his other products (notably his books) and his programming and writing services:

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