How to Work with Page Numbers in Microsoft Word

8313 How to Work with Page Numbers in Microsoft Word

Adding page numbers to your Word document can help organize longer files and let readers know where they are in the document. Page numbers can also be formatted for different effects and controlled across sections. This tutorial will teach you how to add page numbers in various positions, adjust the numbering format, restart numbers between sections, and manage which pages show numbers.

Inserting Page Numbers

Page numbers in Word are inserted through the headers and footers. To add a basic page number:

  1. Click the Insert tab and find the Header & Footer section.
  2. Click Page Number and select a position like Top of Page or Bottom of Page.

This will insert the page number inside the header or footer text area. You can now click and drag to position the number on the top or bottom of the page.

Note: You can format the page number right away or come back to it later. The key is getting it placed in the header/footer first.

Changing Page Number Alignment

Once inserted, click the page number to select it. Use the alignment options to position it on the left, right or center of the header or footer. You can also use tab stops to precisely position numbers.

Restarting Page Numbers

For longer Word docs like reports, you may want to restart page numbering between sections or chapters. To do this:

  1. Place your cursor where you want the new section to begin.
  2. Go to the Layout tab and click Breaks.
  3. Select Next Page under Section Breaks.

Now when you go to insert a page number in that section’s first page header/footer, Word will automatically restart numbering from 1 or whatever number you specify.

Formatting Page Numbers

The basic page number style is decimal numbering starting from 1. But Word provides options to format numbers in different styles.

Changing Number Format

To format page numbers:

  1. Double click inside the header or footer where the page number resides.
  2. Select the page number to view formatting options.
  3. Click Format Page Numbers.
  4. Choose from number formats like numbers, Roman numerals, or letters.
  5. Select a numbering style like 1, 2, 3 or i, ii, iii.

Pro Tip: Use Roman numerals or letters for document elements like a Table of Contents or Preface to visually set them apart from the main body content.

Including Chapter Number

For longer documents like books, you may want page numbers to include the chapter number, like “2-1, 2-2” and so on. To do this:

  1. Follow the same steps to access Format Page Numbers.
  2. Check the box next to Include chapter number.
  3. Specify which level heading to use, like Heading 1 for chapters.

Now page numbers will incorporate the heading text to show the current chapter and page.

Setting Starting Page Number

By default, numbering starts from 1. But you can set the starting number to anything you want:

  1. In the Page Number Format window, choose the desired number format first.
  2. Then check Start at and enter a number like 0 or 5 to start counting from.

Use this to pick up numbering from a previous section instead of restarting at 1.

Controlling Which Pages Show Numbers

There are also options to select which pages show numbers, like removing them from the first page.

Removing Numbers from First Page

To remove the page number from only the first page:

  1. Double click inside the first page header or footer.
  2. Uncheck Same as Previous in the Header & Footer toolbar.
  3. Delete the page number.

The rest of the document will still contain page numbers.

Using Section Breaks

Section breaks can also control page numbering:

  • Next Page Section Break – Restarts numbering on next page
  • Continuous Section Break – Numbering continues from previous section
  • Even and Odd Page Section Breaks – Enables different headers/footers for even and odd pages

Experiment with section break types to get the numbering effect you want.

Additional Page Number Features

Here are some other useful things you can do with page numbers:

  • Add page numbers to templates – Save time by creating templates with preset headers, footers and numbering
  • Create a table of contents – Inserting headings enables generating a TOC based on page numbers
  • Troubleshoot numbering issues – Check section breaks, header/footer linking and “Different First Page” settings if numbers ever go missing or get out of sync

While basic page numbering is straightforward, mastering advanced features takes some practice. Don’t worry about getting it perfect right away.

Key Things to Know About Page Numbers

Here are some key points to help you work with page numbers in Word:

  • Page numbers are inserted through headers/footers, not directly on the page
  • Use the “Format Page Numbers” menu to access numbering options
  • Align numbers inside the header/footer text area, not on the page
  • Section breaks enable restarting numbers between document parts
  • Unlinking headers/footers is key for different first pages
  • Consistent formatting (font, size, etc) looks more professional
  • Templates with pre-set page numbering save time

With these tips, you should now have the knowledge to add page numbers to Word documents, apply various numbering formats, control which pages show numbers, and troubleshoot issues.

Let me know if you have any other questions!