Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Sequential Page Numbers Across Worksheets.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 18, 2018)
Valerie has a business need to get Excel to use sequential page numbers across multiple tabs in a workbook, but she can't figure out how to do it. Each time she begins a new worksheet the page numbers start at 1 again.
There are two approaches you can use to get the page numbering you want. By default, Excel determines what it feels is the best starting page number when printing a worksheet. If you print just a single worksheet, Excel starts the numbering at page 1. If you print multiple worksheets at the same time (create a selection set of worksheet tabs before you start printing), then Excel prints the worksheets sequentially, one after the other, and numbers the pages sequentially as well.
Thus, to get the sequential page numbers you want, you should either select the worksheets you want to print before issuing a single print command or you should display the Print dialog box and, using the Entire Workbook radio button, specify that you want to print the entire workbook.
The second approach is to specify, manually, what page number you want Excel to use for a beginning page number. This approach works well when you can't print all your worksheets at once or if the worksheets you need to print are in separate workbooks. All you need to do is display the Page Setup dialog box (File | Page Setup) and use the First Page Number box to specify what page number you want Excel to use.
One final note: You'll want to make sure that you have the headers or footers of your worksheets set up to actually include page numbers. Excel doesn't print them automatically; you need to specify that the header or footer contain a page number. (How you set up the header and footer has been covered in other ExcelTips.)
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7756) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Sequential Page Numbers Across Worksheets.
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Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.