“Page X of Y”

While leafing through a company’s template contracts today, I noticed that they use the page-number format Page X of Y.

This page-numbering format offers two benefits. First, it lets the reader know how long the document is. And second, it precludes anyone from surreptitiously tacking on additional pages post-signing.

But I don’t find those advantages particularly compelling. If readers want to know how long a contract is, all they need to do is flip once to the signature page—they don’t need to be constantly reminded. And it’s unlikely that anyone could successfully perpetrate a let’s-add-some-extra-pages-at-the-end fraud.

And a disadvantage to this page-numbering format is that it’s rather busy. To my mind, that disadvantage outweighs the ostensible benefits, so that’s why I don’t use this format.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.