Mastering Section Breaks in Your Word Documents

Mastering Section Breaks in MS Word

If I was asked to identify one feature in Microsoft Word that the majority of users struggle with, I would quickly answer: Section Breaks.

What’s wrong with that feature you may ask? Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with section breaks. The difficulty is that if you are going to use section breaks then chances are that you will also use headers and footers. Now if you are going to add headers and footers in your documents, you may also want to control how page are numbered.


One question I’m often asked is “How can I create a 30 page document with a cover page, a table of contents and a 3 page preface? The document will be divided in four chapters with an index at the end.”

Then the crunch! “Ah yes, I want page numbers in the table of contents (TOC) to use Roman numeral. The preface will be about 3 pages. I don’t need a Header in the preface but the footer needs the page number except on the first page. The first page of the preface is page 1 of the document. I also want each chapter to have a header and page numbers in the footer except on the first page.”

Then it goes on with “In chapter 3, I will provide three maps in three consecutive pages. Word would have to skip its page numbering for the three pages I will supply after the document in printed.”

Download the instructions

In this tutorial we will learn how to do all this.

Download the zip file with the PDF instructions and a Word document used in this tutorial.

The .zip file contains 3 files.

  • Mastering Section Breaks in your Word Documents.pdf (A 8 page PDF containing all the instructions)
  • Mastering Section Breaks in your Word Documents Sample Text.docx (A 29 page Word document used with the exercises)
  • Mastering Section Breaks in your Word Documents Finished.pdf (The finished documents. Used as the final example)

Daniel from ComboProjects


MS Office Trainer for 23 years. I am also an Access developer and I love teaching VBA in Excel.

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