Automatic continued in Word

Excellent question from one of my clients working on a Word template for their letters, how could the word ‘continued…’ be included automatically on page one of each letter, but only if the letter was longer than a single page?

A more standard question is how to include space for the headers and footers of preprinted letterhead stationery on page 1 only. This can be done by ensuring that in the Layout section of File, Page Setup, the ‘Different first page’ option is selected. This allows you to set up empty headers and footers on page one of the right size to allow for the letterhead but, because of the ‘Different first page’ option, they will not appear on subsequent pages.

The ‘continued…’ question is not so straightforward. The headers and footers for the letterhead are required on page one, whether there is one page or many pages, but as we have said, the ‘continued…’ should only be included when a second page is needed. After a fair amount of thought, the following solution came to mind. Set up the ‘Different first page’ option as before, and this time, in the appropriate position of the header or footer insert a Word ‘IF’ field. The IF should check whether the number of pages in the document is greater than 1 and if so, include ‘continued…’, and if not omit the word.

The Word field should look something like this:

Word IF field code

Be very careful when entering the Word field – forgetting a space or getting the syntax wrong in any other way will probably stop it working properly.

If you are not very familiar with using Word fields, the best method of inserting an IF field is probably to use the Insert, Field option in two stages.

First use Insert, Field to insert the IF field. Don’t worry about calculating the number of pages at this stage, but instead just type in a placeholder – for example the word ‘pages’:


IF pages > 1 “continued….” “”

The IF field compares two ‘expressions’ and then prints one item of text if the comparison is evaluated as ‘true’ or a different item of text if it is ‘false’.

In fact, in this case because we don’t need anything printed if the result is false we could omit the ‘FalseText’ altogether:

IF pages > 1 “continued….”

Word IF field

Then right click on the resulting field result, and choose Toggle Field Codes to show the underlying code. Double Click on the word ‘pages’ to select it, then go to Insert, Field again and this time use the field DocProperty, Pages:
Word pages property field

Now select the entire field, right click, and choose Toggle Field Codes again to toggle back to displaying the result of the field.

Finally, to make sure the field result is recalculated every time the document is printed, set the ‘Update field’ option in the Tool, Options, Print screen:

Update fields option

10 responses to “Automatic continued in Word

  1. This is a half-thought out answer, since it would make sense to have “continued…” to appear on each subsequent page of a lengthy letter but not the last page

  2. John G, half-thought out or not, it was the answer to the question I was asked. More than happy for you to suggest the other half of the answer.

  3. I thought this was great. You got me thinking about it. Instead of checking to see if PAGE>1, check PAGE<NUMPAGES. Could leave last page blank or put in an "End". Here it is:
    { IF {PAGE}<{NUMPAGES} "Continued…" "End."}

  4. Hi Silver – thanks very much for that suggestion which I think deals with John G’s point admirably. I must admit I had tried something similar to deal with multiple pages but hadn’t got it to work. By taking your suggestion and following my own instructions to implement it, it worked perfectly.

  5. Hi all – can anyone suggest a way to do the same thing for tables? I have a table header that’s being repeated on every page, but I’m trying to get “continued” into the table header of all subsequent pages. I don’t know what page the table will start on or how big the file is, as they’re being generated as DocX files. Thanks in advance…

  6. Can I insert the word “continued…” in a footnote using Word 2007? (WordPerfect allows you to do that automatically, if you select Insert > Footnote > Advanced and check the “continued” option.

  7. Hi Carl – no built in automatic way that I’ve found yet, but you could set one up as detailed here and then add it to the footer gallery so that it would be readily accessible from then on.

  8. What I need is a means of inserting a ‘continued’ at the bottom of any page in the document where I have not inserted a ‘page-break’. I am writing a procedures manual and I fear that if a sentence or paragraph comes to an end at the bottom of a printed page, the reader will think that there is no further content on that given topic and stop reading. When I actually insert a page-break, it means that the section is ended, so no ‘continued’ is needed there. (Screenplay software already does this automatically when dialog slops over the end of a page and, in addition, adds the name of the character at the top of the next page. I don’t wish to purchase screenwriting software for this purpose.)

    • I can’t think of any obvious way to do what you need without using VBA code – sorry! A possible alternative would be to use a style for the final paragraph of each section that includes a border line under the paragraph to show it was the end, but it would depend on users realising that no border meant the section was not finished.

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