Page numbers in Word: A step-by-step guide

In the world of document creation, Microsoft Word is an indispensable tool for students and professionals alike. Adding page numbers to your documents is an essential skill for organizing and navigating long documents. In this comprehensive guide, we will go through the steps for inserting page numbers in Word, as well as some advanced tips to make your documents more professional.

Inserting page numbers

Introduction to Page Numbers in Word

Before we dive into the "how to," it is important to understand why page numbers are so crucial. Not only do they help navigate documents, but they are also indispensable for reference purposes, especially in academic works and official reports.

Step 1: Access the Page Numbering Options.

Open your Word document and go to the 'Insert' tab. Here you will find the 'Page numbers' option. Word offers several placement options, such as at the top, bottom, or in the margins of the page.


Page numbers in Word - Step 1



Step 2: Choose the Position and Format

After clicking on "Page Numbers," you can choose the position (at the top of the page or at the bottom of the page) and the size. Several numbering styles are available, allowing you to customize the appearance of page numbers to match the style of your document.


Page numbers in Word - Step 2


Step 3: Page Numbering Starting from a Specific Page

You often want page numbering to start from a particular page, such as after the title page or table of contents. You can do this by choosing "Start at" in the "Page Numbers" dialog box and then entering the desired number.


Page numbers in Word - Step 3 - 1
Page numbers in Word - Step 3 - 2


Custom Page Numbering

Section-stops for Different Numbering Styles

If your document contains several sections that you want to number differently, you can use section breaks. This allows you to apply different numbering formats within the same document.


Roman Numerals for Front Pages

For academic papers or books, you may want to use Roman numerals for the introductory pages. This is easy to set up through the "Page Number Format" menu.


Tips for Professional Documents

Uniformity is Key

Make sure your page numbering is consistent throughout the document. This means keeping the same position and style unless the structure of your document requires otherwise.


Use Section Headings

Combine page numbering with clear section headings for better navigation and professionalism of your document.


Check Page Numbers in the Print View

Before you print or share your document, check the page numbering in the print view to make sure everything is displayed correctly.



Adding page numbers correctly in Word can transform your documents from simple texts to professionally prepared reports, scripts, or academic papers. By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure that your documents are always neatly organized and easy to navigate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Go to 'Page numbering' > 'Format page numbers' and check the 'First page different' option. Here you can select that the first page has no numbering.

No, page numbers can only be added to documents that are in Word format. For PDF files, you need a PDF editor.

Use section breaks to separate attachments from the main body of your document. Then apply a different page numbering style for the attachments.

Create a footer section with two sections, with one section being for page numbers and the other for other information. Use the table or column function within the footer to do this.

Yes, use section breaks to start a new section where you want to apply different page numbering or restart numbering.

Don't want to miss a Blog or News article? Quickly subscribe to the newsletter