How to Create a Landscape Page in a Portrait-Oriented Word Document

Sometimes, you need to stick a landscape oriented page in the middle of a portrait-oriented Word document—a spreadsheet, graph, or wide image, maybe. Here’s how to do that, and how to keep your page numbering intact when you do.

Create a Landscape Page in a Portrait-Oriented Word Document

Word documents are portrait-oriented by default, which makes sense. Occasionally, you’ll want to include one or more landscape-orientated pages. Unfortunately, you can’t just tell Word to reorient the page. Word’s page layout features apply to whole sections of the document, and by default, your document is one large section.

So first, you’ll need to create a separate section in the document (even if it’s just for one page), and then you’ll need to change the page layout for that new section to landscape orientation. Here’s how.

In your document, place your cursor at the very end of the page right before the page that you want to be landscape-oriented. We’re assuming that you’ve already got the page you want to be landscape oriented in your document. If you don’t, that’s okay, too. You can create the section first, and then insert the page if you want.

For example, if you want page 31 to be landscape-oriented, place your cursor at the end of page 30.

Next, switch to the “Layout” tab on the Word Ribbon.

On the Layout tab, click the “Breaks” button, and then select the “Next Page” option on the dropdown menu.

While it’s not obvious, the action you just took created a section break where your cursor was placed, and started your new section on the next page. You will notice that an extra space was added at the top of the page that you are re-orienting. Don’t worry! That’s supposed to happen.

Your cursor should now be at the top of the page in your new section—the page you’re changing from portrait to landscape.

Go back to the “Layout” tab. This time, click the “Orientation” button, and then click the “Landscape” option.

You now have successfully switched your new section to landscape mode. However, if you scroll through your document, you’ll notice that all the pages following that section break you created are now in landscape mode. As you might guess, you now need to create another section break, and then return the rest of the document to portrait mode. This works pretty much the same as what you just did.

Place your cursor at the end of last page you want to be in landscape mode—in other words, right before the first page you want to change back to portrait mode.

On the “Layout” tab, click the “Breaks” button, and then choose the “Next Page” option.

Your cursor should end up on the first page of the new section—the page where you want to start portrait mode again.

On “Layouts” tab, click the “Orientation” button, and then click the “Portrait” option.

Now, if you scroll through your document, you should see the switch to landscape orientation only on the page(s) where you want it.

Fix Broken Page Numbers

Now that you’ve created a new section in your document, it’s possible that any existing page numbers got screwed up. That’s because Word usually defaults to starting over page numbering in each new section. It’s nothing to worry about, though! The fix is easy.

Double-click in the footer or header area (depending on where you put page numbers) of any page in your new section where the page numbering is off. This just activates the header/footer areas so you can make changes.

Right click the incorrect page number, and then choose the “Format Page Numbers” option from the context menu.

In the Page Number Format window, select the “Continue From Previous Section” option.

That should fix the page numbers in that section. Now, all you have do is go to the next section—where you switch back to portrait mode—and fix the page numbers for that section in the exact same way.

Hayley Milliman is a technology writer and wannabe programmer. She spends most of her family reunions setting up people’s devices.