How to put a different footer on the last page of a document


With a hat-tip to Susan Harkins at, I’m going to show you one of the neatest Word tricks I think I’ve ever seen … and exactly how I’m going to put it to use to solve a long-standing problem: getting something to show up in the footer on every page except the last.

Around our office, we do a lot of wills.  A lot. And the attorneys who do them like for their clients to initial all of the non-signature pages whenever they execute the will itself.  (It keeps anybody from getting cute later and substituting a page before taking it to the Probate Judge.  People are sneaky that way.)  So we put “Initials: _______” in the footer on the right margin so it prints on every page.

I always thought my preferred solution, using Section Breaks, was the last word in solving the problem of how to get that footer text to not show up on the last page.  But noooooo.  Susan’s got a better idea: embedding a custom function in there.

Here’s the video demonstration:

Like I said, I’m going to be finding every excuse to use this wherever it’s handy!

A couple of reader suggestions

Readers chime in with their suggestions:

Jim suggested turning the comparison around so as not to require the whited-out asterisk:

alternate version of code comparing page number to total pages

Jim recommended this variation – a bit cleaner code!

Andy suggested this:

Better is to bookmark the signatures or some other text that will always be necessarily on the last page and then compare the current page number to the page number of the bookmark. This solves all sorts of problems that arise when the nominal page numbering is not the same as the physical page numbering (e.g., introductory material in separately numbered sections, attached exhibits, etc.).

For a tutorial on using bookmarks, click here.

Great suggestions!

About the author 

Deborah Savadra

I spend an inordinate amount of my time playing with computers and attempting to explain technology to lawyers and law office staff. It's not always easy, but someone's got to do it.

But, seriously, I'm a law firm software trainer by trade with nearly 30 years of experience in and around law firms and their technology. This blog is my attempt to spread the word about better and more efficient ways to use Microsoft Office in a legal practice context.

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