How to Add Page Numbers to Microsoft Word Documents

941584 How to Add Page Numbers to Microsoft Word Documents

Adding page numbers to your Word document can help with overall document organization and navigation. Page numbers allow readers to quickly locate specific pages and sections.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to add basic page numbers as well as customize the numbering format, style, and placement.

Overview of Page Number Options

Here’s an overview of the page number configuration options available in Word:

  • Placement: Add page numbers in the header, footer, or side margins
  • Alignment and Position: Customize the alignment and exact position
  • Number Format: Choose from numbers, Roman numerals, or letters
  • Start At: Specify what number to start counting from
  • Include Document Info: Add text, images, or document properties like title and date to headers/footers


  • Helps readers navigate longer documents
  • Allows citing specific pages when referencing
  • Looks more professional than unnumbered pages

Use Cases

Page numbers are especially useful for:

  • Research papers, reports, proposals
  • Multi-page contracts, agreements, and legal documents
  • Manuals, guides, and reference material
  • Books and other printed publications

Inserting Page Numbers in Word

Step 1: On the Insert tab, click on Page Number and select a page number style:

Insert Page Numbers

Step 2: Choose the page number placement – top, bottom, margins, etc.

Step 3: Select a page numbering format like numbers, Roman numerals, or letters.

Once inserted, page numbers will appear on all pages of your document.

Changing Start Page

By default, numbering starts from page 1. To start from a different page:

  1. Double-click inside the header or footer to open it
  2. Click on Format Page Numbers
  3. Under Start at, enter the number you want to start from

Customizing and Formatting Page Numbers

To further customize page numbers, double-click on the header or footer. This will open additional options:

Alignment, Font and Position

Change text alignment, font style and size, or tweak the exact position of page numbers:

Format Page Numbers

Add borders, background colors, and other text formatting as needed.

Including Document Info

Along with page numbers, many documents also show:

  • Document or report title
  • Author name
  • Date
  • Chapter name

Click inside the header and insert text boxes and fields to add this information. You can position them on the left, right or center aligned with the page number.

Using Different Numbering Formats

For longer reports and books, you may want to use different numbering schemes for specific sections:

  • Chapters: Decimal numbering (Chapter 1 starts with 1.1, 1.2 and so on)
  • Appendices: Alphabet numbering (A, B, C)
  • Front Pages: Small roman numerals (i, ii, iii)

To use these specialized schemes, divide your document into sections and configure them separately:

  1. Place cursor where you want to start a new section
  2. Go to Layout > Breaks > Next Page under Section Breaks
  3. Double click inside new section and choose numbering format

This will allow numbering to restart as per the format you choose.

Removing Numbers from Pages

To remove page numbers from specific pages like the cover:

  1. Double-click to open relevant header/footer
  2. Click inside and press Delete

Page Number Positioning Tips

Here are some best practices for placing page numbers:


  • Position at the bottom-center or bottom-right
  • Use top-right only for special pages like chapter openers
  • Keep numbers consistent through all pages


  • Place numbering at bottom-center
  • Show numbers on all pages except chapter openers
  • Optionally show page numbers on outer side of pages

Report Covers

  • Exclude numbers from front and back covers
  • Start numbering from second page as 1, 2, 3 and so on

Two-Sided Pages

  • Add numbering to outside edges of pages
  • Format as odd pages left and even pages right
  • Helps with double sided printing

Troubleshooting Guide

Here are solutions for common issues faced:

Numbers not updating correctly

  • Check sections breaks and formatting
  • Confirm fields are updating dynamically
  • Toggle between Print Layout and Web Layout views

Large gaps in page numbers

  • Delete unnecessary section breaks
  • Check for hidden text causing page breaks

Numbers appear on pages where excluded

  • Verify correct headers/footers disabled
  • Blank out header/footer instead of deleting

Font, position changes not applying

  • Edit headers/footers directly instead of via dialog box

Pagination restarts unexpectedly

  • Remove manual page breaks and let text flow naturally

Hopefully this gives you a good overview of how to add and customize page number formatting in Word to suit your document requirements! Let me know if you have any other questions.

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