How to Add Number to Each Column in a Multi-column Word Document

More often than not, you are required to insert number for each column in a Word document with multiple columns. Read on and we will present you an easy way to achieve that.

Now and then, when you create a Word document with multiple columns and want to add page numbers, by default, numbers will be added for each page. Then how to number each column instead? In this article, we will show steps to do the task.

First thing, open a Word document with multi-columns. For example, you’ve got a two-column Word document with only one number on each page:

Multi-column Document with Number for Each Page

Now we will introduce the steps to number each column instead, as below:

Multi-column Document with Number for Each Column

Steps to Insert Number for Each Columns

  1. First, double click the original page number to enter the footer area.

Enter Footer Area

  1. Next, in the footer area, select and delete the original number.
  2. Then move the cursor to the location, where you want to insert the number for the left column. If necessary, you need to add some spaces to adjust the location properly.
  3. Then press Ctrl + F9 twice to insert a field.

Press Ctrl+F9 Twice to Insert a Field

  1. In this field, input the formula {={page}*2-1}, which calculates the number for each column automatically:

Input Formula in the Field

  1. Then click the right mouse button and choose the Update Field to update the field. Or simply press F9 to do the same thing:

Press F9 to Update the Field

Then the formula will calculate the number and display it for you, as below:

Number for the Left Column is Added

  1. Next, add some extra spaces to move the cursor to the location where you want to insert number for the right column.
  2. Repeat the steps as we do for the left column, except that this time we need to use formula {={page}*2}
  3. Finally, press ESC to finish the editing and exit footer area.

Now you see Word has inserted numbers below every column.

Apply the Tip to Multi-Column Document

This is just an example of document with two columns. You can also apply this tip to documents with three or more columns. Assuming the column number is n, you can just follow the above steps and input field formulas {={page}*n-(n-1)},{={page}*n-(n-2)},…,{={page}*n-(n-n)} for each column, from the left-most one to the right-most one.

Fix Corrupt Word Document

Word is definitely a powerful tool for daily office work. Useful as it is, constant operations will still lead to document corruptions frequently. Under such circumstances, a batch of ways can be taken to repair word, including utilizing the built-in repair function in Word, and many other third-party word recovery tools. All these ways will help you solve the problem efficiently.

Author Introduction:

Vera Chen is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including excel recovery and pdf repair software products. For more information visit

17 responses to “How to Add Number to Each Column in a Multi-column Word Document”

  1. Thanks a lot for this article. I am very impressed for your post. It nicely works in MS WORD 2010. Once again, thank you very much.

  2. I read this piece of writing completely concerning the comparison of hottest and earlier technologies, it’s remarkable article.

  3. ok, I am now on a regular keyboard, this formula does NOT work on a laptop. I got it to work on the first one, which I need it to start on 11 but no matter what I put in the back side, it comes up as 22 and not12 How do I correct that.

  4. I am using word 19 and this does not work, I need to start my number with 11 on column one and 12 on column 2. as after printing these pages I will be putting them in a book form as page numbers.

  5. Thank you, very informative. How can we, for instance, continue the process in other succeeding documents, like the last number of the last document, which is 2124, and I want to continue the numbering in another doubled column document. How can I continue, please?

  6. I have numbers in each column however they all say 1 and 2 just as the first one does. It I delete it and enter 3 and 4 it changes 1 and 2 also. No luck at all!

  7. I just followed these steps and it worked great. I did delete the extra spaces that generated automatically incase they might have caused an issue.

  8. This simply just does not work…
    Following all the steps proved to be a waste of time. Let me refresh you on the steps.
    CTRL + F9 twice provides text that looks like this: {{ }}
    When I fill in the blank with the code it looks like this: {{{={page}*2-1}}}
    When I right click, hit “Update Fields”, the result is…. nothing happens.
    I’m left with the text {{{={page}*2-1}}} as my page number…

    I attempted to adapt and overcome…
    I removed a single set of { }, essentially only hitting CTRL + F9 one time which gave me the formula: {{={page}*2-1}}
    Again, when I right click, hit “Update Fields”, the result is…. nothing happens.
    I am again left with the text {{={page}*2-1}} as my page number…

    I further attempted to adapt and overcome by removing the set of { } around the formula:

    This time though, when I clicked “Update Fields”, I got this error message:
    !Syntax Error,{

    Essentially, this process is faulty. When I right click and select, Edit Field I’m given the option to select a formula for page numbers. This however, only adds a single page number to the entire page, and does nothing to number the column.
    If I did something wrong with this formula, or process, please reach out to me and let me know as I followed every step and have proved this is faulty…

    Thank you for the opportunity to learn something new. I didn’t fail, I just learn a way that doesn’t provide the results I wanted.

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