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Docs break pagination when opening RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all.

    Latest version of Office 365, Windows 10.

    Ever since the end of last year, I get errors with the pagination when I open a file.
    Additionally, I sometimes get the "You have exceeded the maximum number of pages supported by Word or this document may be damaged..." message.

    This happens with files I have been using for a long time. They worked before, as I can tell by the PDF's I created from them: in the PDF's, the pagination is perfect.
    These files are set up as follows:

    • 4 pages without header and footers, containing title and cover
    • Different left and right pages all through the file
    • A page break at the end of pages 3 and four to allow the next pages to have a header and footer
    • Some pages contain text that is divided into two columns
    • Page numbering starts at one on page number 5

    So in short: I have two problems.

    • The 'You have exceeded' message that makes Word unresponsive so it will hang and has to forcefully be shut down.
    • The problem with the pages, that will number many pages with '2' for instance, or / and will replace left pages with right pages and vice versa.

    To suppress the 'exceeded' message, I have turned off background repagination in the 'Advanced' settings.
    This though does not solve the errors with the page numbers, so I dug a bit deeper and carefully reproduced a file.

    What I did helps, but there is a snag. At least though, I could recover my document.

    I have removed all the breaks from the file with 'Replace > ^b'.
    I then checked if the entire file was using '1 column'.
    I removed left and right pages layout.
    Next, I redid all the columns (I already had to do that a few times, this costs a lot of time and money).
    I carefully saved a version of this file named '01-columns'.
    I then used left and right pages, saving the file as '02-left-right'.
    Next, I inserted a 'Continuous Break' at the bottom of page 3 and 4. And saved the file as '03-breaks'.
    The next step was detaching pages 5 and 6 from the previous section. This worked, I saved the file as '04-detached'.
    After that, I told the page number at the top of page 5 to restart numbering at 1.

    And this causes the problem.
    The file next seemed to contain only 10 pages instead of 80. The same amount I got in other files before.
    Word became unresponsive and whitened out.

    So I can recreate the file, as it is intended for both PDF print and offset printing, but I cannot use the numbering I need, which is a pain. The biggest problem is updating the files: each time I open one, it throws me an error in the numbers. They have worked for years, I can no longer update files since I spend my day repairing the files instead.

    Does someone know a solution? I have been using Word since 1995 but I am stumped.

    Thursday, March 5, 2020 7:21 PM

Answers

All replies

  • Hi LaLine,

    I suggest you try to open Word file in safe mode, if it works fine please try to disable add-ins in your environment

    Open Office apps in safe mode on a Windows PC

    More information about how to troubleshoot this issue:

    I get a "stopped working" error when I start Office applications on my PC

    In addition, you can refer to this similar situation below:

    Exceeded maximum number of pages on Word

    Best regards

    Itch Sun



     Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.                                                 

                   

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    Friday, March 6, 2020 9:06 AM
  • Thank you for your response.

    Unfortunately, this (opening in 'Safe Mode' and the steps in the other post) does not solve the matter.
    After starting numbering the second section at '1', Word only counts 9 pages. I have 80.

    While I was creating a screenshot to show you, the dreaded message popped up about exceeding the maximum page count. So that is included in the screenshot. Word then reverts to simple view instead of print preview, and I can't work like that since I have to make sure content on facing pages is correctly laid out.

    Like I said: the mere fact of changing the numbering is what causes this error.

    I wanted to add the screenshot but get the message this is not allowed until I confirm my account, which is odd since I have already checked the mailbox for a message asking to confirm it, but only the 'welcome' message arrived, with no confirmation link. 


    • Edited by LaLine Friday, March 6, 2020 10:54 AM forgot specification
    Friday, March 6, 2020 10:54 AM
  • I have just run a new trial with documents after uninstalling, restarting and reinstalling the entire Office pack.

    This did not solve the problem either.
    What I do notice now is that as soon as I start renumbering a section, the left page is turned into the right page. This is just wrong and never happened before. I checked everything and saved the document in all the different steps. 

    This is getting annoying: I am spending time repairing documents instead of being able to update them for the clients. I have to tell them they will get outdated material because I am spending my days fixing files I open. Surely this can't be the way to work, I hope to hear from Microsoft that they are working on it.

    Friday, March 6, 2020 6:58 PM
  • Okay, this is beginning to look like a monologue 😊

    Since I really need to get work done, I inspected more documents. I discovered that there was an extra line added after the continuous break on the right page before the second section. This was odd, since I place them at the bottom of pages, and should not matter. 

    But I still moved the last line to before the continuous section.
    The first page on the second section immediately changed back to a left page.
    This is very strange, I would not have expected this to happen after a continuous break.

    This only happens after the last update, since I didn't change anything else but did notice a few things that were different since then, I think this may also have changed. 

    Anyway, so far this fix worked in two files, and I will continue to work on the other files that open and then have wrong page numbering and that invert left and right. 

    I add this because it might help someone else. I have been using Word since the nineties, this weird behaviour didn't happen before. Other weirdness: oh yes! 😃 But this is new to me. Moving a continuous section one line...

    Saturday, March 7, 2020 12:20 PM
  • Hi,

    I'm very happy to see you solve this problem, thank you for sharing

    You can mark your reply as an answer. It will help others who meet the similar question in this forum.

    Thank you for your understanding.

    Best regards

    Itch Sun


     Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

                   

    Click here to learn more. Visit the dedicated forum to share, explore and talk to experts about Microsoft Office 2019.                

    Monday, March 9, 2020 1:56 AM
  • I just marked it as solved.

    Upon further inspection, I also notice that updating a linked file can also create an extra line. I am now paying close attention, so far though no more 'You have exceeded!' dread or Word choking on sections and whitening out. Happy!


    LaLine

    Monday, March 9, 2020 11:07 AM
  • Sadly, I found many other files that break when i open them.

    I see the PDF's created from the file are fine. These PDF's have perfect pagination. But when I open the .docx files that are used to create the PDF's the pagination is wrong. The mistake happens after about 10 pages. 

    This week, again, I spent time on repairing files that were broken, while I can prove they were fine before since I used them to print a PDF from them. This is terrible since I can't update anything: all my time is spent repairing files instead.


    LaLine

    Saturday, March 14, 2020 2:22 PM
  • Is it correct to assume you're using different odd and even headers and footers? (Layout>open Page Setup dialog>Layout tab>Different odd and even) That setting will automatically add pages to ensure that even pages are always on the left and odd always on the right.
    Saturday, March 14, 2020 4:24 PM
  • Thank you for your replies!

    Yes, I have used the same work setup for years.
    On the first four pages, there are no headers and footers.
    Then, I add a continuous break as usual to detach the remaining pages from the first ones, so I can add headers and footers on the left and right pages, and I start numbering on page number 5 which then starts counting at 1.

    I have always used this. And the docs were perfect when I saved them, which I can prove with the PDF's I created after saving. But now, when I open files, the numbering goes wrong, usually around page 10.

    I will check out the link now.


    LaLine

    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 2:20 PM
  • Thanks for this link!

    It contains useful information. 
    But sadly, in this case I open the files on the same machine I worked on for ages. The printer does change, yes, but the errors occur before I print them in the new files I create. By the way, I use Adobe Acrobat to create the PDF's. 

    So, if I create a neutral page with simple page numbering and then create a section and/or use columns, it will break the page numbering. This is very strange.

    I noticed that sometimes, it helps to go back to only odd pages, and not different odd and even pages. But I never had to do this before, only after the updates. It is very, very strange. 

    If you like I can add a link to a .zip containing the .docx's I created, so you can see for yourself. I saved every step.


    LaLine


    • Edited by LaLine Tuesday, March 17, 2020 2:28 PM Forgot printer specification
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 2:26 PM
  • Thanks for this link!

    It contains useful information. 
    But sadly, in this case I open the files on the same machine I worked on for ages. The printer does change, yes, but the errors occur before I print them in the new files I create. By the way, I use Adobe Acrobat to create the PDF's. 

    So, if I create a neutral page with simple page numbering and then create a section and/or use columns, it will break the page numbering. This is very strange.

    I noticed that sometimes, it helps to go back to only odd pages, and not different odd and even pages. But I never had to do this before, only after the updates. It is very, very strange. 

    If you like I can add a link to a .zip containing the .docx's I created, so you can see for yourself. I saved every step.


    LaLine


    Sample documents and pdfs might help. However, your documents are likely to look different on my computer, anyway.

    It is not the printer, but the printer driver software, that can mess things up. That software should change whenever you change operating systems. Any changes in your document's appearance will take place when you change the assigned printer for a Word session, it will not wait until you actually print the document.

    Columns require a section break unless they are the entire document.

    Section breaks are just that, section breaks. They can mess up page numbering.

    If, in one section, you tell Word to restart numbering or to start numbering from a particular number. that command will be repeated for the next section you start from the one where you changed the numbering. So if you tell Word to restart your numbering at 1 at the beginning of Section 2 when you are past your front matter, and then add columns in the middle of the page, you will create section 3 at the beginning of the columns and section 4 at the end of the columns. Each of those section breaks will tell Word to restart page numbering there.

    The following free tool may help: Toolkit for Advanced Management of Headers and Footers


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI


    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 3:07 PM
  • Thank you for your answer and the download link. I am going to try this and will let you know.

    Yes, I know columns create sections, I always have all 'invisible elements' visible, even the spaces, the works 😊

    The problem though happens when I reset the page numbering to zero in the second section. I will first run a trial with the software you mentioned above, and if this doesn't help getting a clear idea of what's going on I will zip and add the link. Thanks so far 😊


    LaLine

    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 4:25 PM
  • I just tried it but it doesn't seem to help me at this moment. Then again, I am a novice at using this plug-in...

    So here is the link to the .zip. I hope you can help 😊
    http://www.soulfulash.com/stuff/0317.zip


    LaLine

    Tuesday, March 17, 2020 4:51 PM
  • That is ten files! I looked at the first one. Didn't see the problem.

    Which file demonstrates the problem?


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI


    Wednesday, March 18, 2020 3:38 AM
  • Yes, I saved each step for reference: I am very thorough 😊 I did this (with saving every step) multiple times with different files that were fine to begin with. This is series number 5.

    The error occurs in the last file, and you can see what the file is like before that in the one before last. As soon as the columns are added, things go wrong, although this sometimes also happens after renumbering. It is as if lately, this is a big problem. I have no idea why this happens.

    I appreciate your help a lot, thanks! 



    LaLine

    Wednesday, March 18, 2020 9:28 AM
  • I repaired the last file twice. Every section break beginning with Section 3 told Word to restart numbering at 1. Many of these are continuous breaks and hard to modify directly through the user interface.

    Using the Toolkit for Advanced Management of Headers and Footers, I saw the following beginning with Section 3.

    I used the tool to change to Continue from previous by selecting that radio button. I repeated with each section following.

    Result: https://www.dropbox.com/s/v1lso7jxlfq9pxh/10-create-columns-right-page_revised.docx?dl=0

    Then I went back to the broken one and used my Continuous Page Numbering Add-In and changed them all to continuous with the click of a button.


    Result: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3alzno06v3n8uo3/10-create-columns-right-page_continuous.docx?dl=0

    This is from restarting the page numbering in one section and then continuing from there. In either of my repaired documents, if you want, you can now go to the section where you want to restart numbering and use the Format Page Numbers dialog to do  so. That will not change other sections.


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI





    • Edited by Charles Kenyon Wednesday, March 18, 2020 3:44 PM
    • Marked as answer by LaLine Thursday, March 19, 2020 12:47 PM
    Wednesday, March 18, 2020 3:32 PM
  • Thank you ever so much.

    I will download the add-in you refer to as well.

    Isn't it odd how Word behaves now? This never happened before, it's something that started earlier this year, never had that before. Since it now happens with each new file I create I think something must be wrong. There was an update, but I dread to uninstall and use the previous version since it would mean having to reinstall so much, like accounts... it would be nice to be able to only revert to the previous version of Word.

    Do you know what could cause this problem?

    Thanks a lot for you help and for the screenshots, they will help me getting started with the plug-ins. 


    LaLine

    Thursday, March 19, 2020 12:24 PM
  • I just opened a file in which the numbering went bad after opening it this year, and used your 'Continuous Page Numbering' plug-in, which fixed the numbering immediately.

    I am so very happy with your help! This will help me at least continue working on the new tutorials instead of fixing what used to be fine and went bad just by opening it.

    What are your thoughts on the cause of this problem? I am very interested to hear. No one understood what was going on, it is quite rare for me to ask for help since I usually can fix it, but I was getting desperate. You just made my day, sir 😊


    LaLine

    Thursday, March 19, 2020 12:47 PM
  • ***

    What are your thoughts on the cause of this problem? I am very interested to hear. No one understood what was going on, it is quite rare for me to ask for help since I usually can fix it, but I was getting desperate. You just made my day, sir 😊


    LaLine

    Has the document always been a Microsoft Word document? This has been how sections and page numbering work for at least the last 20 years.

    If you edit in OpenOffice/OfficeLibre, Word Perfect or GoogleDocs, etc., I have no idea what they might do. Generally, converted documents are problematic for editing.


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI

    Thursday, March 19, 2020 1:52 PM
  • Yes, it has always been a Word document.

    And the one I sent via the .ZIP was created from scratch in Office 365. It is absolutely a mystery to me. And it happens in each new file, and the older ones. Some were in legacy format and were converted, but those really are quite rare. Simply adding columns, or restarting the numbering, throws errors and adds lots of sections. It's very, very strange. I have been using Word for quite a while and was at my wits end!


    LaLine

    Thursday, March 19, 2020 3:19 PM
  • Either get used to using the Add-In or stop restarting numbering in sections where you are going to be creating section breaks.

    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI

    Thursday, March 19, 2020 8:34 PM
  • Thanks, yes 🤣

    I resorted to the latter for a few books, but it is a pain to check the new page numbers in the list and it doesn't help for the versions that go to the printer. I felt it was a cowardly retreat so I charged to find a solution, which I have now found in this great plug-in.

    Thanks again, and have a good day.


    LaLine

    Friday, March 20, 2020 9:45 AM