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Learn how to add page numbers in Word – Readability is key

Lets go through how to add, remove, format, and manipulate page numbering.
Last Updated on July 15, 2024
how to add page numbers in word
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Page numbering is probably the oldest form of referencing in books and other texts. It’s so easy to tell someone where a certain piece of information is in a document by telling them ‘Page three, paragraph two’ or similar. Learning how to add page numbers in Word doesn’t only add that level of accessibility to a document, it looks professional too.

Learn how to add page numbers in Word

how to add page numbers in Word

In Microsoft Word, page numbers live in the headers and footers of pages. An important tip – go page numbers first before inputting any other information into headers and footers. Inserting page numbers will format any other text in the header or footer, so make sure it’s one of the first formatting jobs in any Word document.

We’re going to go through not only how to add page numbers in Word, but other useful guides such as how to format them and more. Let’s get straight into it:

How to add page numbers

how to add page numbers in Word

First, let’s learn how to add page numbers in Word before anything else. In the top Microsoft Word ribbon, select the ‘Insert’ tab and navigate to the Header and Footer group > page Number, and choose if you’d like page numbering in the header, footer, or in the cursors current location. 

If choosing the current position, this will only apply to the current page being formatted. Then, users can pick a design for their page numbering. Whilst we went for a bold choice, a simple page count can be inserted instead.

How to format page numbers

how to add page numbers in Word

To change how page numbers appear, or to change them into letters or Roman numerals, go to Insert > Header and Footer group > Page Number > Format Page Numbers. Then at the top of the new window click the drop-down for ‘Select Number Format’ and choose the preferred option.

Keep the ‘Continue from previous section’ radio button checked, this ensures consistency throughout the document. Finally, click OK to save changes.

How to remove the page number from the first page

how to add page numbers in Word

Some documents, such as novels, will most likely skip page numbering on the first page or two due to introductions and more. To do this, go to the insert tab on the Microsoft Word ribbon and go to Header/Footer, depending on where the page number is placed. Then go to edit header/footer followed by Different First Page in the options group. 

Just to mention again, the header and footer tab will only appear when users are clicked into the applicable header or footer, so don’t forget to do so.

How to start the second page with page number one

how to add page numbers in Word

To start numbering pages after the first page, to go the Header and Footer tab > Page Number > Format Page Numbers and enter ‘0’ into the ‘Start At’ field with the radio dial toggled ‘On’.

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Christian 'Reggie' Waits' is a contributor to PC Guide, having written a wide array of how to and buying guide content.