Hello, my friends,

I solved Amazon Paperback page numbering with Microsoft Word by using custom field codes in the footer.

All of these steps are useful for anyone publishing an Amazon KDP paperback, and I recommend reading each step in order to save you time and aspirin.

All of these notes are specific to Microsoft Word as of 2019/2020.

Tip: I find it useful to open MS Word with a two-page view so that the left pages are always the odd-numbered pages (which ironically is the opposite of a real book–but it helps to process these steps more easily).

NOTE: I work very hard to create accurate, helpful documentation like this. If you find this information helpful, and if you enjoy reading entertaining genre fiction, please support my writing by visiting http://StoryGene.com and buying an Amazon book using one of my links. Please also leave an honest review of my book on Amazon.


  1. Download the correct template for your paperback book size (mine was 6×9).
  2. Save a copy of the template named for your book and version.
    1. e.g. 2019-10-08-v02-my-book-name-6 x 9 inch (15.24 x 22.86 cm).doc
    2. After you’ve uploaded your manuscript and reviewed it in the KDP print preview tool, and then discovered how it changes your document, and then you’ve exited out of it, revised your document, and uploaded it again several times you’ll appreciate the versioning numbers.
    3. I also prefer to pre-pend my file names with the date for many reasons which help me months and years later.
  3. When a person opens your book they should see your title page on a right-side page, even-numbered page (where the page to the left is blank).
    1. I chose to insert two blank pages at the beginning of my book so that the title page was page three.
    2. I also like to insert two blank pages at the end of my book.
  4. I also prefer to have my Contents, Acknowledgements, and Introduction pages on the right side, odd-numbered pages. To do this I needed to skip a page sometimes to force these to be on the right side.
  5. After you’ve done these front pages you’ll want your first chapter to be the first page with numbers on it. And, as in my case, I also wanted the start of each chapter to be on the right side (odd-numbered).
  6. To put the Title Contents, Acknowledgements, and Introduction pages on the right side place your cursor at the end of an even-numbered page before them and hit CTRL + Enter to force a new page break so that each of these pages is on an odd-numbered page.
    1. If your chapter formatting changes then do the CTRL + Enter at the end of the previous page instead of at the top of the chapter title.
    2. Amazon KDP paperback only allows up to two consecutive blank pages anywhere in the middle of the book content. So do not add several of these page breaks or they’ll cause you problems later.
  7. After you’ve set up *ALL* of your important pages like this throughout your book find the page number of the first chapter.
    1. In my case, the first chapter began on page 13.
    2. You’ll need to know your own first chapter page number to modify the following (very simple) page numbering code snippet.
  8. Double click into the document template footer to edit it and insert the page numbering code snippet (below).
    1. The footer is typically the lowest inch of the page (or upper inch if you want to put your page numbers in the header).
    2. You will need to do this twice, once for the even-numbered pages and once for the odd-numbered pages.
  9. In the footer, right-click and hit CTRL + F9.
    1. You’ll now see a set of curly braces {}.
    2. If you want these in the center, highlight the curly braces completely, go to your MS Word Home menu at the top, and in the Paragraph menu section tap the Center icon to center them.
  10. Replace that set of curly braces by TYPING the following page numbering code snippet (do *NOT* copy-paste):
    1. {IF{PAGE}>"12"{PAGE}}
    2. Note: There are no blank spaces in that code snippet.
    3. This tells Microsoft Word:
      1. IF the page number is greater than 12 then show the page number.
      2. IF the page number is 12 or less do not show the page number.
    4. You will need to replace the number 12 with the correct number for your document format.
    5. If your first chapter begins on page eleven then you’ll need to use the number 10 in that code.
    6. The number you use is always one number less than the page number your first chapter begins on.
    7. You will need to repeat the above on the facing page. See 8.b. above.
    8. You use the same exact page numbering code snippet on the odd page and even page footers.
  11. After you’ve entered the code, select the entire code snippet (hit CTRL + A, or triple-click the
  12. With the entire code snippet selected right-click on it and choose Toggle Field Codes.
    1. You will need to repeat the above on the facing page (once for the odd paged and once for the even pages).
    2. By toggling field codes you will hide the code snippet which must be done for printing.
  13. If you’ve done this correctly, all the pages before your first chapter page will show no page number, and your first chapter page and all pages following it will show page numbers.
  14. IMPORTANT: UPDATE YOUR TABLE OF CONTENTS – Right-click inside your table of contents and choose Update Field, and then chose Update page numbers only.
  15. Save your document (with the new version number each time) as a Microsoft Word document.
  16. Carefully review each page of your document to make sure the formatting is done the way you want it.
  17. IMPORTANT: Once you’re ready to publish, save your document as a PDF.
    1. When you save your document as a PDF the Amazon KDP paperback preview tool will *typically* not strip out random blank pages.
    2. If you upload your manuscript document as an MS Word document the Amazon KDP paperback print preview tool may strip out random blank pages.
    3. Remember you cannot have more than two blank pages anywhere in the content of your document.
  18. Upload and review your PDF document in the KDP paperback preview tool.
  19. Repeat this process until your document looks the way you want it to look in the final print preview and then submit it for publishing

If you found this information helpful, and if you enjoy reading entertaining genre fiction, please support my writing by visiting http://StoryGene.com and buying an Amazon book using one of my links. Please also leave an honest review for my book on Amazon.

Thank you,


Christopher Eller, Dramatist


Note: The correct HTML organization of nested lists in this WordPress post was only made possible by the Nested Ordered Lists plugin. WordPress does not allow correct HTML for multi-level nested lists, even when you manually edit the HTML per the specs.

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