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IT Skills: Page numbering

How to insert page numbers from specific areas within a document.

When you are formatting a document you will want to number the pages, but often only starting from a specific page (frequently excluding the cover page and contents pages for example). Inserting page numbers into a header or footer is quite straightforward (insert/page number) but doing so will number all pages.

The following instructions will allow for the selective numbering of pages.


1. First we need to insert a section break

Click at the very top of the page where you want the numbering to begin, (click within the body of the page in front of any text/images, not the header)
Select Page Layout - Breaks.

2. Select Section Breaks - Next Page.

3. On the page where you want numbering to start double click in the footer. You will notice that the text Same as Previous is displaying in the footer (bottom right) and in the Design Menu (at the top) you will see that Link to Previous will be selected.


We DO NOT want Link to Previous selected,  deselect it. 
Once deselected you will notice that the Same as Previous text has disappeared from the footer.

4. Now to add the numbers.

You should currently have your curser in the footer, but if not double click in the footer (Alternatively select the Header if you’d like the page numbers up top).

5. Choose Insert/Page Number​.

6. Now select the page numbering format you would like. For this example we will select Bottom of Page/Plain Number 2 to have them in the middle.

You need to do is tell the document you would like to start numbering at number 1.
To do this click in the footer, and from the top menu select Insert/Page Number/Format Page Numbers. You will now see this

7. You will notice that under page numbering 'Continue from previous section' is selected. This is why the numbers did not start at 1.
Select Start at,  Number 1 should now appear in the adjacent box (if it doesn’t, use the drop down to select it).

8. Click  OK.
You should now see your numbering as you want it.


Should you need to remove a section break the following instructions apply. 

1a. Select the Show/Hide tool from the top Home menu. 

All the document formatting will now be shown, making it easier to see previously hidden section breaks. 

2a. Find the section break you wish to remove place your curser in front of it and press delete twice.

Note: You can apply this same method to creating multiple breaks, or sections with different number orders/formatting. Often Roman numerals are required for the first few pages and then normal numbering. This is easily done using the method above (for numerals select Insert/Page Number/Format Page Numbers. From here you can select numerals from the Number Format drop down.

Important things to remember:
Save a version of the document before you start inserting breaks etc. This way if it goes wrong you can start again.
Before inserting a section break, always click at the very start of the page you want the numbering to begin from. If you do not the break will start wherever you have selected, meaning you could end up with a break in the middle of the page.
It may seem unnatural to select to start your break on the Next Page, when you are in the page you want the numbering to start from, but it is important you do.
A common issue is where page numbers do not continue from the first numbered page. Most often this is because Different First Page is ticked in the Design Menu. Just remember that when you are in the header or footer the design menu should look like this below.

Practice will help, experiment with a document of your own (the larger the better). Insert section breaks, try sections with different number formatting, add and delete breaks. Always remember to save a copy of your document prior to editing!