Display Page Numbers in Headers or Footers in Microsoft Word

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated October 6, 2019

Applies to: Microsoft® Word® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

In Microsoft Word, it’s easy to add page numbers at the top or bottom of your pages using headers or footers in simple, one section documents. However, if you want to restart numbering or choose different numbering styles in different parts of your document, you will need to separate your document into sections. In this article, we’ll review numbering in simple and more complex Word documents.

Recommended: How to Add or Remove Page Breaks in Microsoft Word

Note: Some Ribbon tabs may appear with slightly different names if you are working on Office 365 and have a smaller screen or different display settings. Buttons on the Ribbon may appear as icons only and are also affected by screen size and display settings.

Adding Page Numbers in a One Section Document

By default, Microsoft Word documents contain one section.

To add page numbers in a one section document:

  1. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon.
  2. In the Header & Footer group, click Header or Footer. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Click Edit Header or Edit Footer (although you can select one of the building blocks that appear, you will have more control over your header or footer if you edit it yourself). Word displays the document in Header / Footer mode. A Header & Footer Tools Design tab appears in the Ribbon.
  4. Click in the header or footer.
  5. If you would like text to appear (such as the word Page), type it.
  6. In the Header & Footer Tools Design tab, click Page Number. A drop-down menu appears.
  7. Select Current Position and then Plain Number. A page number field is added to the header or footer.
  8. You can select the page number field by dragging over it and then apply formatting such as font size or alignment (on the Home tab in the Ribbon).
  9. To return to the document, double-click anywhere in the document area. You can also click Close in the Header & Footer Tools Design tab. To easily return to Header / Footer mode, double-click in the header or footer area.

The following Header & Footer Tools Design tab appears in the Ribbon when you are in Header / Footer mode:

Header & Footer Tools Design Tab in the Ribbon in Microsoft Word.

Turing Off the Display of Page Numbers on the First Page in a One Section Document

Some users may want to turn off the display of page numbers on the first page of a document.

To turn off the display of page numbers on the first page in a one section Word document:

  1. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon.
  2. In the Header & Footer group, click Header or Footer. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Select Edit Header or Edit Footer. Alternatively, you can double-click in the header or footer area.
  4. In the Header Footer Tools Design tab, check Different First Page in the Options group. Word creates a different header and footer for the first page of the document and a regular header and footer for all other pages. You can now enter page numbers, text or images in the First Page Header and / or First Page Footer if you’d like.
  5. To return to the document, double-click anywhere in the document area. You can also click Close in the Header & Footer Tools Design tab. To return to Header / Footer mode, double-click in the header or footer area.

Below is the Different First Page check box in the Header & Footer Tools Design tab:

Different first page option in Microsoft Word.

Adding Different Page Numbers in Sections

You can add different page numbers in sections in a Word document. Each section can have a different starting page number, a different numbering style (such as roman numeral) or no numbering at all. For example, you could create a document with three sections with a section for a title page with no numbering, a section for a table of contents page with roman numeral numbering that starts with (i) and another section for the main document that starts with Page 1.

Creating sections

If you want different numbering in parts of a document (such as restarting numbering after a table of contents or using roman numeral numbering), you’ll need to create sections first.

To create a section:

  1. Click in the document where you want to insert a section break.
  2. Click the Layout or Page Layout tab in the Ribbon and click Breaks. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Select a type of section break (normally Next Page under Section Breaks).

Breaks appears in the Page Setup group:

Breaks command in the Page Setup group in Microsoft Word.

Viewing section breaks

It’s a good idea to click Show/Hide ¶ in the Paragraph group on the Home tab in the Ribbon so you will be able to see where section breaks have been inserted in your document:

Show and hide paragraph symbols button in Microsoft Word.

With Show/Hide ¶ on, section breaks normally appear as follows:

Displaying section breaks in Word documents with how hide paragraph symbols on.You can also view section breaks by clicking the View tab in the Ribbon and selecting Draft in the Views group. To return to the default view, click the View tab in the Ribbon and select Print Layout in the Views group:

View tab in Microsoft Word with Draft and Print Layout.

Adding Page Numbers in a Section and Restarting Numbering

If you want to add page numbers in a section and then restart numbering, you will need to make sure that the header and footer in the section are not linked with the previous section’s header and footer. For example, if you have two sections, one for a table of contents and a second section for the main document, click in the second section.

It’s best not to add any text, images or page numbers in the headers or footers before you unlink the headers and footers.

To set up page numbering in a section and then restart numbering:

  1. Add section breaks where necessary.
  2. Click anywhere in the section in which you wish to add page numbers and restart page numbering.
  3. Double-click in the header or click the Insert tab, select Header and then Edit Header.
  4. In the Header & Footer Tools Design tab, click Link to Previous to deselect the check box to break the link with the header from the previous section.
  5. Click in the footer.
  6. In the Header & Footer Tools Design tab, click Link to Previous to deselect the check box to break the link with the footer from the previous section.
  7. Click in the header or footer and in the Header & Footer Tools Design tab in the Ribbon, click Page Number in the Header & Footer group. A drop-down menu appears.
  8. Choose Current Position and then Plain Number. A page number field is inserted.
  9. Drag over the page number field to select it.
  10. To restart page numbering, click Page Number in the Header & Footer Tools Design tab and click Format Page Numbers. A dialog box appears.
  11. Enter a Start at number if you want to restart numbering (normally 1) in the Start at box.
  12. If you would like a different numbering style (such as roman numerals), select a style from the Number format drop-down menu.
  13. Click OK.
  14. To return to the document, double-click in the middle of the document.

The following dialog box appears when you select Page Number and then Format Page Numbers in the Header & Footer Tools Design tab:

You can also right-click a page number field and select Format Page Numbers from the drop-down menu to access the Page Number Format dialog box:

Format page numbers drop-down menu in Microsoft Word.

Similar to a one section document, you can select Different First Page for specific sections if you’d like. Click in the section, double-click in the header or footer and select Different First Page on the Header & Footer Tools Design tab. You can also select Different Odd & Even Pages.

Be very careful when deleting section breaks. If you delete a section break, the current section takes on the section settings from the following section and your headers, footers, page numbering, orientation and margins could change.

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Summary
How to Add Page Numbers in Microsoft Word (Step by Step)
Article Name
How to Add Page Numbers in Microsoft Word (Step by Step)
Description
In Microsoft Word, it’s easy to add page numbers at the top or bottom of your pages using headers or footers in simple, one section documents. However, if you want to restart numbering or choose different numbering styles in different parts of your document, you will need to separate your document into sections. You can then add page numbers, reformat them and restart numbering if necessary.
Author
Publisher Name
Avantix Learning Inc.

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