Ins and outs of page numbering in Word

Applies to
Microsoft Office Word 2003
Microsoft Word 2000 and 2002

Collage of page numbering images

Like a lot of things you do in Word, page numbering can be incredibly simple…until it isn't. The first time you create a multiple-page document and add page numbers, it's a cinch. You click the Page Numbers command on the Insert menu, and voilà: Page numbers appear. But wait —what's this about adding page numbers by using the Header and Footer toolbar? How come your page numbers disappeared when you switched to a different view? Why can't you click to add text in front of a page number? And so on.

Because there's a lot to know about page numbering, and it's not all obvious, we've created this one-stop shopping center where you can browse the many sources of information available about page numbering in Word. If you don't find what you need here, be sure to let us know what you're looking for. Just use the feedback buttons at the end of this article.

Did you know...?
In-depth information
Online training
Knowledge Base articles
Help topics

Lightbulb Did you know...?

Sometimes, you learn something new, and suddenly some of the things you already know make more sense —like a light bulb switching on. Here's a few facts about page numbering in Word that might even trigger that light bulb effect.

  • Word creates pages on the fly, as you type. This is different than, say, PowerPoint, in which you just insert a new blank slide wherever you want it. However, if you want to add a new page in a specific location, you can insert a page break by using the Page Break command on the Insert menu.
  • Page numbering can vary in the same document if it's opened on different machines that have different fonts installed.
  • Page numbers are a section property, not a document property —so page numbering might change when you add a section break.
  • Page numbers are visible only in print layout view. To see page numbers and any other text in headers or footers, click Print Layout on the View menu.

Most Valuable Professional icon In-depth information

Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) are acknowledged by peers and also by Microsoft for their technical expertise and active participation in Microsoft online communities around the globe. Here, the Word MVPs weigh in on page numbering.

Word's numbering explained by MVP John McGhie

This comprehensive article provides information about all kinds of numbering in Word. Check out the Numbering in action section, which uses the example of a simple technical manual to explain page numbering, table of contents and index numbering, chapter and heading numbering, list and outline numbering, and field numbering. (Applies to Word 2003, 2002, and 2000)

How to control page numbering in a Word document by MVP Bill Coan

In this article, the author describes what he sees as the Big Ideas you should understand about page numbering in Word. (Applies to Word 2003, 2002, and 2000)

Use page numbering, and let the text flow from page to page by MVP Shauna Kelly

This Word tutorial steps through basic page numbering for new Word users. (Applies to Word 2003 and 2002)

Training icon Online training

Microsoft Office Online self-paced training courses include lessons, hands-on practice sessions, and a printable Quick Reference section to help you learn new features in Office products.

Headers and footers, simple to elaborate

This training course for Word 2003 covers adding document headers and footers, including page numbers —from basic headers and footers that appear on every page to more elaborate combinations that differ from page to page or section to section.

Books and a magnifying glass Knowledge Base articles

The following articles respond to customer requests and reported issues that relate to page numbering:

Large question mark Help topics

The following Microsoft Office Word 2003 Help topics cover the basic tasks involved in page numbering, whether you're working with a basic multiple-page document or a complex document that contains chapters, tables of contents, an index, and so on.

Page numbers

Add page numbers and other information

Add page numbers or the date or time to a document by using the Header and Footer toolbar.

Format page numbers

Specify formatting (such as 1, i, or a), change the font and size of page numbers, and insert "Page X of Y" page numbers.

Remove page numbers

Remove page numbers from headers and footers.

Display or hide the page number on the first page

Show or hide page numbers on the first page of each section, if your document is made up of sections.

Specify how to start or restart page numbering

Start or restart page numbering in documents that contain sections or chapters.

Add page numbers to a master document or subdocuments

Use a master document to organize and maintain a long document by dividing it into smaller, more manageable subdocuments. Insert page numbers consecutively, and restart page numbers at the beginning of each subdocument.

Restart page numbering for each chapter

Restart page numbering for each chapter of a multiple-chapter document, and include the chapter number as part of the page number —for example, 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 2-1, 2-2, 2-3, and so on.

Troubleshoot page numbers and line numbers

Learn why you sometimes can't see page numbers (when you know they're there), why you see {PAGE} instead of the page number, and why you can't change page numbers.

Headers and footers

Insert headers and footers

Add headers and footers to documents. When you add page numbers, they're added in the headers and footers in your document.

Position page numbers outside the header or footer

Place page numbers where you want them in headers and footers. If you use the Page Numbers command on the Insert menu, Word inserts page numbers in frames, and then you can position page numbers anywhere on the page.


Change a cross-reference

Update cross-references to page numbers.

Specify how numbers and dates appear in right-to-left documents

Add and work with page numbers in documents that have a right-to-left language enabled through Microsoft Office Language Settings.

Troubleshoot indexes

Find out why page numbers in your index don't match those in your document.

Field codes

Fields are used as placeholders for data that might change in your document.

Field codes: PageRef field

Use this field for cross-references in documents.

Field codes: TC (Table of Contents Entry) field

Use this field to define the text and page numbers for entries in a table of contents and in lists of tables, figures, and similar contents.

Field codes: TA (Table of Authorities Entry) field

Use this field for text and page numbering for a table of authorities entry in a legal document.

Field codes: SectionPages field

Use this field for page numbering in documents containing sections.

Applies to:
Word 2003