How to Start Page Numbers on a Specific Page in Microsoft Word

Written by deanne lachner
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How to Start Page Numbers on a Specific Page in Microsoft Word
Most book pages are numbered with even numbers on the left-hand side, or verso, and odd-numbers on the right-hand side, or recto. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Books, reports, essays and research papers -- many documents require page numbers. Some style guides ask that the page numbering begin with the title page being page 1. Other guides state that the page numbering should begin with the abstract or introduction. Things get even more confusing when you want to begin page numbering with, say, the number "1" on the document's fourth or fifth page. It's actually a two- or three-step process to start your page numbering with any number you wish and on any of the document's pages you wish.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open Word and then open your document. Place your cursor anywhere, except in the header or footer, on the page before the page on which you wish to start adding page numbering.

    How to Start Page Numbers on a Specific Page in Microsoft Word
    Sometimes title pages of a book are numbered with lower case Roman numerals. ( Images)
  2. 2

    Click the "Page Layout" tab at the top of the ribbon that contains Word's commands. Click the down arrow next to "Breaks" in the "Page Setup" section of the tabbed ribbon.

  3. 3

    Select "Next Page" under the "Section Breaks" heading in the drop-down menu. This command sets a section break that begins on the next page. Any formatting you change beyond that section break affects the document from the break to the end of the document, or until you set another section break.

  4. 4

    Place your cursor on the first page on which you want page numbering to show. Click the "Insert" tab at the top of your document screen and then click the down arrow next to "Page Number" in the "Header & Footer" section of the ribbon.

  5. 5

    Select the location for your page number from the options that you see, such as "Top of Page" or "Bottom of Page." Word will insert a page number, and that number will match the document's page. For example, if you insert the section break on page 5 and start the page numbering on page 6, Word inserts the page number "6."

  6. 6

    Change the page numbering to start on document page six but showing page "1" if you wish, such as when you want chapter one of a book to start on page "1." Click "Page Number" in the "Insert" tab again and scroll down to "Format Page Numbers." Click inside the circle next to "Start at," and type in or click the arrows next to the blank until you reach the "1."

Tips and warnings

  • Page numbering should be in a consistent location throughout a book. Choose a location, such as the outer edge of the page in the lower corner or the top centre of the page, and stick with that location throughout.
  • To set pagination on the outer edges of a page -- when the pages will be printed front to back, like a book -- means printing the page number verso on the left-hand side pages and recto on the right-hand side pages. Click the "Design" tab and place a check mark in the box next to "Different Odd & Even Pages." Follow the steps to insert a page number twice -- once on the first odd-numbered page and once on the first even-numbered page. Insert the odd page numbers at the upper or lower right-hand side and the even page numbers at the upper or lower left-hand side.
  • From the "Format Page Numbers" screen, you can also change your page-numbering style, such as from "1, 2, 3..." to "i, ii, iii...," by clicking the down arrow next to "Number Format" and selecting the style you choose.

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