How to Number Your Microsoft Word Document

656730 How to Number Your Microsoft Word Document

Numbering elements in your Microsoft Word document can greatly improve organization and readability. Whether you want to number pages, lines, headings, or entire sections, Word provides several easy-to-use tools to add numbering throughout your document.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk through the step-by-step instructions for numbering pages, lines, headings, and sections in Word. We will also explore customization options to tailor the numbering formats to your specific needs.

How to Add Page Numbers in Word

Adding page numbers in Word is useful for referencing pages and sections later. Here are the steps to add them:

1. Click on the “Insert” tab

Go to the “Insert” tab on the ribbon toolbar at the top of your Word window.

2. Select “Page Number”

In the “Header & Footer” section, click on “Page Number”.

3. Choose a page number location and style

A drop-down menu will appear. Select a location for the page numbers (top, bottom, margins) and alignment style.

4. Format page numbers (optional)

To customize the numbering format, right-click the page number, select “Format Page Numbers”, and choose options like starting number, numbering style, and more.

5. Restart page numbering mid-document (optional)

To restart page numbering later in the document, insert a section break, right-click the first page of the new section, and select “Restart Page Numbering”.

Adding Line Numbers in Word Documents

Line numbers are useful for referencing specific lines of text in legal documents, scripts, poetry, and more. Here is how to add line numbers in Word:

1. Click the “Layout” tab

Go to the “Layout” tab on the ribbon.

2. Select “Line Numbers”

In the “Page Setup” section, click “Line Numbers”.

3. Choose line numbering options

Select continuous numbering throughout the document or restart numbering per page or section.

4. Customize line numbering (optional)

Right-click the line numbers and choose options like interval between numbers, starting number, distance from text, and more.

Numbering Headings in Your Word Document

Numbering headings helps create an organized, outlined document structure. Follow these steps:

1. Select your first heading

Click on the first heading you want numbered.

2. Click “Multilevel List” on the “Home” tab

Go to the “Home” tab and select “Multilevel List” in the “Paragraph” section.

3. Choose a numbering format

Select a numbering style from the list library, like numeric, alphabetical, or outline.

4. Customize numbering scheme (optional)

Right-click the numbered heading, choose “Define New Multilevel List” and select options to customize numbering.

Add Section Numbers in Word

Section numbers help organize lengthy documents and allow readers to reference different sections easily. Here is how to add them:

1. Divide document into sections

Insert section breaks where you want to divide the document into numbered sections.

2. Select the first section

Click inside the first section of your document.

3. Open the “Multilevel List” dialog box

Go to the “Home” tab and click the arrow next to “Multilevel List”. Select “Define New Multilevel List”.

4. Choose numbering format

Select a numbering style, alignment, indentation options, and specify which levels of headings to number in each section.

5. Apply changes

Choose whether to apply the numbering scheme to the whole document, from that point forward, or just the current section.


Adding page numbers, line numbers, heading numbers, and section numbers in Word is simple with the built-in tools. Customizing the numbering formats to fit your document’s structure and layout is easy too.

Use this guide to add organized, readable numbering throughout your next Microsoft Word document. Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions!

About The Author