How to Add Page Numbers in Word

Using page numbers in long documents helps in many ways. Word offers an easy method of inserting page numbers where you want them in your document. There are two ways of doing this—the simple way and the complicated.

The simple way of inserting a page number is beginning with a “1” on page 1 of the document. A more complicated way would be to introduce the numbering from a page other than the first page.

IN this tutorial I will be covering following topics:

  • Adding a Page number in Word
  • Removing Page numbers in word
  • Formatting Page Numbers
  • Adding Page number in Sections
  • Adding Page number on Odd and Even pages

Lets start.

Add Page Numbers in Word

Open your document in Word. Search for and click on Insert in the menu bar on top of the ribbon. The ribbon will change and a section Header and Footer will appear in it. Click on Page Number in this section.

A new menu opens, giving several options, and you can see their details when hovering the mouse pointer over them.

For instance, if you want the page number to appear on the Top of Page, simply hover the mouse pointer over it, and Word offers options as shown below.

For adding page numbers at the Bottom of Page, the options are as shown below.

Similarly, Word also allows adding Page Numbers on the Page Margins, or at the Current Position of the mouse pointer.

Once you have selected the desired location for placing the Page Number, and the page number appears at the desired place, Word will automatically turn on the Header and Footer sections on your page and place your mouse pointer near the page number, allowing you to add annotations to the page number as necessary.

Once you are satisfied with the results, you can turn off the Header and Footer sections and continue with your writing.

For this, either double-click anywhere within the page, or click on Close Header and Footer on the Ribbon.

These are the simple ways you can add page numbering to your document provided your document is simple and you are looking for numbering all the pages using the same convention.

Removing Page Numbers in Word

Just as Word allows adding page numbers easily, it also allows removing page numbers when you do not want them.

To remove page numbers, go to the Page Number menu (Insert>Header and Footer>Page Number) and click on Remove Page Numbers.

That’s all.

Page numbers in Word – Bonus Tips

All documents are not simple, and for some, you may want fancy page numbering. Your document may have different sections and you may want to number them differently—Roman numerals for the introduction and table of contents, and Arabic numerals for the rest.

You may be writing a book, and want the page numbers placed differently on odd and even pages.

For some reason, you may not want the page numbering to start from the first page of your document or you may want to leave out the first few pages of each section without a page number.

Word allows you to all the above.

Formatting the Page Number

To add numbers with a special format or to formant existing page numbers, go to the Page Number menu (Insert>Header and Footer>Page Number), and click on Format Page Number. This will open a new dialog box.

The dialog box allows different options for Page Number Format. Click on the radio button on the rightmost side of Number Format.

A selection box drops into view, allowing selection of numerals of different format. Select what you want and press OK to implement. Next when you add page numbers, Word will add them using your selection of number format. If the document already has page numbers, they will change to reflect your latest selection.

Adding Page Numbers in Sections

Page numbering typically starts from 1, assuming one is using Arabic numerals.

If your book or document has several sections, Word allows you to continue numbering pages of a section following the previous section, or to start with a different number and formatting for that section.

Go to the section in your document where you want to add page numbers.

Open the Page Number Format dialog (Insert>Header and Footer>Page Number>Format Page Numbers), and go to the section Page Numbering.

Word offers two options here:

  • Continue with Previous Section
  • Start with a section of your choice.

You can choose to continue the numbering from the previous section, for which, you select the radio button on the left of Continue from the previous section.

You may instead choose to start the section with a numbering different from the previous section along with a different format as well.

Select the radio button on the left of Start at, and pick the appropriate starting number using the up/down arrows on the right of Start at.

You can also change the Number format for this section as already explained earlier.

Adding Page Numbers in Odd and Even Pages

You can add page numbers such that the positioning is different in odd and even pages. However, you must set up the page for this first. Enter this setup by opening the ribbon bar for Layout and clicking on the down arrow to the right of Page Setup.

This will open the Page Setup dialog. Go to the Headers and Footers section and turn on the radio button on the left of Different odd and even. Exit dialog with OK.

You can also reach the setting for Different Odd and Even pages by double-clicking anywhere within the Header or Footer section of your document. The ribbon changes to show Header and Footer Tools. Turn on the radio button on the left of Different Odd & Even Pages. Exit this ribbon by clicking on the Close Header and Footer.

Irrespective of how you enable the Different Odd & Even Pages, adding page numbers to the header and footer section afterward will allow you to place the page numbering differently on the odd and even pages. You must add page numbers separately, once right-aligned on the odd page, and again left-aligned on the even page. You may use any other combination as well.


Word allows different ways of adding page numbers to your document. Depending on whether you have a simple document or a document containing several sections and chapters, you can use the simple or the advanced methods described above. With the advanced method, you can make your document more attractive and professional.

If you want to learn to add page numbers to a google doc, check out this article.

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