How to Spell Page Numbers Instead of Using Digits in Microsoft Word

725247 How to Spell Page Numbers Instead of Using Digits in Microsoft Word

Adding page numbers to your Word document can help organize longer files and allow readers to reference specific parts easily. By default, Word inserts numeric page numbers. However, you may want to spell out page numbers as “Page One” or “Page Two” instead.

Fortunately, converting digits to spelled-out page numbers is straightforward in recent versions of Word. This article explains the step-by-step process.

Why Spell Out Page Numbers?

There are a few reasons you may want to use text instead of digits for page numbers:

  • For formal documents – Spelling out page numbers can give a document a more polished, professional look. This is common in books, reports, dissertations, etc.
  • For drafts – Seeing “Page One” instead of “1” can help you better visualize pagination when proofreading a draft.
  • For accessibility – Spelled-out numbers may be easier to understand for some readers.

How Page Numbering Works in Word

Before learning how to format page numbers as text, it helps to understand how Word handles page numbering:

  • Page numbers are inserted using fields. Fields allow numbers to update automatically as you add or remove pages.
  • The page number field is inserted by going to Insert > Page Number.
  • To reveal the underlying field code, press Alt + F9. This temporarily toggles field codes on.

Step 1: Insert Page Numbers

First, add page numbers to your document through the Ribbon:

  1. Navigate to the Insert tab.
  2. In the Header & Footer group, click Page Number and select a position like Top of Page.

This adds the page number field to your document.

Step 2: Reveal Field Codes

Next, reveal field codes:

  1. Double-click inside the header or footer to enable it.
  2. Select the page number.
  3. Press Alt + F9 to view field codes. You should see { PAGE }.

Field codes allow you to control page number formatting.

Step 3: Add Cardtext Switch

The Cardtext switch tells Word to display text instead of digits:

  1. After { PAGE }, insert a space followed by \*Cardtext.
  2. Press Alt + F9 again to toggle field codes off.

You should now see “Page One”, “Page Two”, etc.

Step 4 (Optional): Customize Text

You can also customize exactly what text is displayed:

  1. After \*Cardtext, add another space.
  2. Enter custom text and formatting switches like \f "1". \f starts text formatting.
  3. Add your custom text in double quotes, like "Page".
  4. Close text formatting with \f "0".
  5. Press Alt + F9 to view changes.

So the full field would look like { PAGE \*Cardtext \f "1"Page\f "0"}.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • If page numbers disappear entirely, check field coding for errors.
  • If numbers revert to digits, press Alt + F9 to check if the Cardtext switch is still applied.
  • For more advanced multi-section documents, read this guide on using section breaks.


Converting digital page numbers to fully spelled-out text is easy in Word thanks to fields and switches. This can help improve the look of formal documents and make drafts easier to review.

Remember these key points:

  • Page numbers in Word rely on fields, revealed with Alt + F9.
  • The \*Cardtext field switch displays text instead of digits.
  • You can fully customize text with the \f formatting switch.
  • Section breaks allow different numbering formats in multi-section reports.

With this knowledge, you can now easily spell out page numbers as needed to fit your document’s style and purpose.

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