Opening a Microsoft Word document gives you a blank replica of a piece of paper on the screen, but after a few hundred words, you’ll soon have scrolled onto the next page. With the addition of some images, a chart and other details, your Word document could be multiple pages or more, and you may have changed your mind about the best possible order for them. Because Word is more of a word processing program than a publishing and layout program, it doesn’t offer the ability to drag and drop pages. But users can override this impossibility with a workaround that lets them get optimal document page order.
Microsoft Word does not offer a page layout option where you can simply drag pages from one place to the other, such as you would with the slide deck view on Microsoft PowerPoint or the page view on Microsoft Publisher. Text on pages in Word simply flow from one to the next automatically, but the white page background itself is stagnant.
Even though Word users can’t manipulate the pages of a document, they are not stuck with the order of things entirely. Instead of moving pages, move what is on the page. This means highlighting a page’s contents – one helpful way to view a page in its entirety is to click the “View” tab and click the “One Page” option. Copy everything on the page by highlighting it, clicking the “Home” tab and clicking “Copy” or clicking “Cut,” scrolling to the new destination page or adding a new page by pressing the “Ctrl” and “Enter” keys together, which forces a page break. Once on the new page, click the Home tab’s "Paste" button and the original page’s contents paste in.
While Word doesn’t permit the reordering of its pages, it does offer some assistance once you perform that action. Word will update and adjust any of the page numbers you’ve added to the headers and footers on the page, such as eliminating a deleted page and shifting up all the other numbers. If you’ve captured a footnote in with your moved contents, Word keeps track and pastes that footnote into the new page, updating the footnote number and any other footnote numbers throughout the document to keep them in order.
Because of the highlighting, cutting and pasting required to reorder pages in Microsoft Word, a few potential problems should be considered. First, when you cut and paste, you disrupt the integrity of the document. This may temporarily change the page flow and how images appear. If you are copying and pasting to ensure you don’t accidentally delete the information you’re moving, you must remember to go back into the document and delete the copy to avoid having duplicate information. The best tactic is to always to a final read-through of the document to make sure everything is exactly in place as desired.