How to add page numbers in Word documents.

A woman uses her laptop to add page numbers to her Word document.

Learn how to add page numbers in Word to help with organization for both you and your team members.

Page numbers help keep important documents organized and serve as quick indicators to find a lost digital or printed page. Luckily, the automated page numbering function in Microsoft Word offers a fast way to add page numbers. Read on to learn how to number pages in Word.

How to insert page numbers in Word in 4 steps.

It’s easy to number pages in Word documents. Simply follow the four steps below:

  1. Launch Word and open your document.
  2. Select the Insert tab from the top toolbar.
  3. Select Page Number in the Header and Footer section.
  4. Select a numbering style from the dropdown menu.

Word will add a page number to the document’s first page by default. If you’d like to remove page numbers from the first page, double-click the page number to bring up the numbering settings and select Different First Page.

If the numbering also needs to start from 1 on the second page, select Insert > Page Number > Format Page Numbers, and set the “Start at:” value to 0.

Should you add Word page numbers on the first page?

In larger works like reports, theses, or books, it’s common to have page numbers on the first page for consistency and easy navigation. This format adds a polished and standardized look, especially for professional or academic purposes. However, for title pages or cover pages, excluding page numbers creates a cleaner and more visually appealing layout. This omission can be a deliberate design choice, particularly when the document doesn’t need page numbering until the second page. With Word’s flexible settings, you can easily customize page numbers to fit your needs.

Ultimately, the decision to include or exclude page numbers on the first page is based on the document’s requirements, formatting guidelines, and your personal preferences. Consider the purpose, context, and desired appearance of the document when deciding whether to add page numbers on the first page or save them for the following pages.

Additional benefits of adding page numbers to Word.

In addition to their organizational function and ease of finding specific pages, page numbers in Word documents offer several other benefits.

After adding page numbers to Word, share as a PDF.

After adding page numbers, you’re ready to share your Word document. But Word files are editable by default, which can make them less than ideal for sharing important or sensitive documents. You can better secure your documents if you convert Word to PDF files with a PDF converter. You can also directly add page numbers to the PDF document using Adobe’s Number PDF Pages tool, further enhancing its organization and accessibility.

PDF is a publishing-ready format, which means no one can easily make accidental changes — like removing page numbers. With Adobe Acrobat, you can also secure your files with passwords to ensure your page numbers and all other information stay untouched.

Discover what more you can do with Adobe Acrobat online services to convert, protect, and share PDF files.