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Blend portrait, landscape pages in Word docs

Change page-number orientation and other header and footer elements when switching between portrait and landscape layouts in Word 2003, 2007, and 2010.

The company I work for creates very technical reports. Many of the Microsoft Word documents I edit are loaded with complicated tables, charts, and other figures. The pages frequently switch between portrait and landscape orientation, so I have to relocate the page number and remove the other header and footer information on the landscape page and then add it back to subsequent portrait pages.

You might think a sophisticated program like Word would make it easy to reformat a single landscape page and revert to the original formatting afterward, but it isn't.

In Word 2003, the steps required to do so run well into the double digits:

Click Insert, Break, select "Next page" under "Section break types," and click OK. Next, click View, Header and Footer to open the Header and Footer toolbar. Click in the header of the section you just created and deselect Link to Previous in the Header and Footer toolbar to disable this feature. Next, click in the footer and deselect the Link to Previous option again. You should no longer see Same as Previous in either the header or the footer.

Now the changes you make will apply only to the pages in the new section. Choose File, Page Setup, select Landscape in the Orientation section on the Margins tab, and click OK. Highlight the page number in the footer and drag it to the left side of the landscape page, where it will appear on the "bottom" when the landscape page prints along with the document's portrait pages. With the page number highlighted, click Format, Text Direction, and choose the appropriate option.

When the pages of your document switch back to portrait orientation, you have to reverse the process to relocate the page number and reinsert the other header and footer information. Otherwise, the changes you make on the portrait page will appear on the landscape pages that precede it. You must also make sure "Continue from previous section" is selected in the Page Number Format dialog box if you want the page numbering in the new section to pick up where it left off in the previous section.

Microsoft Word 2003 Page  Number Format dialog box
Click "Continue from previous section" in the Page Number Format dialog to resume page numbering from the earlier section. Microsoft

Switching orientation in Word 2007 and 2010 is no picnic
Bouncing between portrait and landscape page layouts in a Word 2007 or 2010 document isn't much easier. In fact, you can't drag page numbers out of the header and footer in these versions of Word. Instead, you have to select a header and footer layout that places the page number on the side and then reformat and reposition the number so it matches the page numbers on the document's pages in portrait orientation.

As in Word 2003, you start by inserting a section break. Click Page Layout, Breaks,  and select Next Page under Section Breaks. You also have to deselect the Link to Previous option in the Header and Footer toolbar, just as in Word 2003.

To open the Header and Footer Tools tab, double-click in the header or footer, or click Insert, Footer (or Header),  Edit Footer (or Header). Choose Link to Previous in the Navigation section to deselect this option; the Same as Previous tag will disappear from the right side of the header or footer margin. Unfortunately, this option still has to be disabled separately for the header and the footer.

Microsoft Word 2010 Header and Footer options
Deselect the Link to Previous option on the Header and Footer ribbon in Word 2007 and 2010 to prevent changes you make to be applied to the document's previous section. Microsoft

Now you're ready to change from portrait to landscape mode: in both Word 2007 and 2010, choose the Page Layout tab, click Orientation, and make your selection. Reopen the Header and Footer ribbon and remove any headings or other text you don't want to appear on the landscape page. Next, click Page Number, Page Margins and select one of the handful of layouts with page numbers on the left side of the landscape page.

Once again, you have to reposition and reformat the page number to match the portrait pages in your document. With the header and footer active, select the page number and relocate it by dragging or using the arrow keys. To turn the page number sideways so it matches the numbers on portrait pages, click Format, Text Direction, and choose the option to rotate the text 90 degrees.

When the document reverts to portrait mode, you insert yet another next-page section break, deselect Link to Previous all over again, reinsert any headings or other text you removed in the landscape page, reposition the page number, and hope you won't have to do the Word page-orientation shuffle too often.

Of course, you could create a macro that automates the portrait-to-landscape-to-portrait process, but that's a subject for a later post.