I am trying to use the lastpage package in order to have footers with the page number given in the form "Page x of y", where y is the page number of the last page.

This should be straightforward, but I'm getting instead: "Page x of ??"; i.e., I'm getting a pair of question marks rather than a page number.

I've distilled the problem down in order to minimize dependencies, etc. to:

\cfoot{\thepage\ of \pageref{LastPage}}

Does anyone have any idea about what I could be missing to cause \pageref{LastPage} to give me "??"?

  • 3
    Did you run it twice? Sep 16, 2011 at 22:14
  • Your code compiles OK in my system. Have you compiled it twice? Sep 16, 2011 at 22:14
  • Found something interesting, if you use pdflatex (Windoze) and specify -aux-directory=DIR, the second (or third, fourth, fifth or sixth for that matter) passes will not update the references correctly (arrrrgggghv)
    – davidc
    Mar 27, 2018 at 1:20

1 Answer 1


In order for TeX to know what the last page is, the document must be completed. So you need to run LaTeX twice. The first time it will write out an temporary .aux file and on the second run it will read it in and fill in the ??. When I run your document the second time it correctly displays Page 1 of 3.

Running it twice should suffice for most applications, but sometimes additional runs are required so keep that in mind in case this comes up again.

The same applies to other references such as equation numbers, section numbers, etc...

Here is a good question that explains a bit about some of these temporary files that get generated.

  • Thanks! This did the trick.(I had reinstalled my LaTeX editor, Latexian, from scratch and neglected to reset the preference where the LaTeX would be compiled twice by default.) Sep 16, 2011 at 22:21
  • 1
    @Jum Ratliff: When encountering this issue after two compiler runs (some files need three or even four compiler runs!), please look at the end of the .log file for warnings of package rerunfilecheck and for LaTeX Warning: There were undefined references. LaTeX Warning: Label(s) may have changed. Rerun to get cross-references right.
    – Stephen
    Sep 17, 2011 at 11:26
  • 1
    There are tools that automatically run pdflatex (or whichever processor you want to use) the required number of times to fix references, table of contents etc. latexmk (I'm using Linux, not sure about other platforms) works quite well for me. Jan 20, 2018 at 4:28

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