Word tip #2: Page numbering bug when printing

On about all the versions of Microsoft Word the footers anre headers of a page can print wrongly (The footer may show either 5/1, or 5/5, instead of 5/22, for the fifth page of a 22-page document). It is a Word bug that is known on many different version of Word. Unfortunately, Microsoft did not think necessary to correct it despite the long history of this “feature”. So, it appears randomly on all the files text-processed by Word.

This bug is only present when printing (screen display, including “print preview”, is always correct; Which is a bit annoying and costly in printer consumables).

Possible avoidance maneuver

There are some containment solutions identified by Microsoft (to avoid the impact of the problem on your documents). Systematically, and independantly of the version of Word you use, you can:

  • Either print in reverse order (last page first),
  • Or give up “background printing”. This is the printing mode that triggers the bug.

For this, you will use the menu Tools>Options and the tab Printing in the dialog box similar to the following:




French Word printing options dialog box


True solution

Microsoft provides (for all versions of Word between 97 and 2000) some Service Release that fully correct this annoying problem. You can download them on the Microsoft Internet web site (address http://office.microsoft.com/downloads/).

You are left wondering why these service releases never got integrated in the official software itself if Microsoft already knew of the problem and already odentified the correction. But you are left to understand the Redmond’s way of thinking is the most impenetrable secret of this Earth.