I have Word template that splits separate chapters into separate sections (with section breaks) and also has a set footer for this setup.

For example:
If Chapter 1 is called Introduction
The footer will say Introduction: 1 of XX (where XX is the total number of pages in the chapter)

If Chapter 2 is Summary
The footer will be Summary: 1 of XX, etc.

Of course, by having all of these section breaks the Table of Contents automatically generated by Word has each chapter starting at number 1 giving me something looking like this:

Chapter 3........1
Chapter 4........1

Which isn't very appealing. Ideally I would like it something like this:

Chapter 3........7
Chapter 4........15

Note: In the Table of Contents above the footer page numbers for the first page of each chapter would have been, Introduction: 1 of 3, Summary: 1 of 3, Chapter 3: 1 of 8, Chapter 4: 1 of XX

So is there a way to force Word to ignore the section breaks only for the purpose of the Table of Contents (as I still want the footer page numbers to be set out in their sections)?

Or is this so unintuitive that I will just have to manually change the numbers once the document is completely finished and formatted?

Thanks for any input on this as I've seen a lot of posts about people wanting the section breaks in the Table of Contents (splitting between roman numerals and numbers, etc) or people wanting to remove the breaks for continuous page numbers and thus continuous Table of Contents but never the mix that I'm asking about above.

  • Maybe I don't understand it, but what sense would it make to show in the TOC "Chapter 4.....15" - but then when you browse through the document, there is no page 15 - because Chapter 4 starts on "1 of 6"? Nobody would ever find page 15.
    – Aganju
    Sep 1, 2016 at 2:43
  • @Aganju It's depending on the way you look at it. When printed to a PDF it shows the total amount of pages within the document. If the document is printed to PDF without hyperlinks, I would like to have the contents set up in a way people can manually enter the page number they want to go to, based on the numbers shown. Your reasoning is the exact reason that I think it's just going to be a manual process at the end.
    – Brady W
    Sep 1, 2016 at 2:55
  • I see. I would assume that Word was not designed with PDFs in mind, rather with paper docs. So I doubt you will find any automated way. Maybe Microsoft should consider some redesigning - many docs nowadays are done for electronic distribution, and that has different use cases and needs.
    – Aganju
    Sep 1, 2016 at 3:04

1 Answer 1


You can achieve this by creating a bookmark at each section break (eg bkEnds1 for section break at end of section 1; bkEnds2 for section break at end of section 2 etc). You will need to unlink your footer, as you'll need to adjust the calculation to refer to the preceding section end bookmark for each footer.

Don't restart page numbering for each section to 1. You won't be displaying the page number field in the footer anymore, but you will need to use the actual page number in a calculation.

Instead, you can use an = FIELD in your footer to calculate the page number (being current page number - page number of bookmark for end of previous section).

For your first section, you can use the usual page number field and then sectionpages field.

For the second section, use the following calculation which references your bookmark (it's calculating the current page number and then subtracting the page number of the send of the previous section noted by your bookmark):

enter image description here

Then for section 3, it would be the same footer, except you would change bookmark name referred to in the calculation to bkEnds2. And so on.

  • Excellent, this works perfectly. I actually came across something very similar the other week and delved a little bit more into field codes. At the time I didn't even think that I was onto something that would have answered my own question! Thank you very much.
    – Brady W
    Sep 20, 2016 at 5:52

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