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Changing the Starting Page Number

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Changing the Starting Page Number.

Word gives you quite a bit of flexibility in working with page numbers. There may be times when you want to change the starting page number for a particular part of your document. For instance, your document may include a couple pages of preliminary information, but you want the actual page numbering to start on the third physical page. This is quite easy to do in Word.

Page numbering can be varied by section in your document. Thus, to change the way in which pages are numbered in the previous scenario, you would perform the following steps:

  1. Position the insertion point at the end of the second physical page in your document.
  2. Choose Break from the Insert menu. Word displays the Break dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Break dialog box.

  4. Click on the Next Page radio button.
  5. Click on OK. The section break appears in your document, and the text following the break will begin at the top of a new page.
  6. With your insertion point located on the third physical page (in other words, right after the section break you added), choose the Page Numbers option from the Insert menu. Word displays the Page Numbers dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. The Page Numbers dialog box.

  8. Click on the Format button. Word displays the Page Number Format dialog box.
  9. In the Page Numbering area of the dialog box (at the bottom), click on the Start At radio button and indicate the starting page number for the section.
  10. Click on OK to close the Page Number Format dialog box.
  11. Click on Cancel to close the Page Number dialog box.

At this point you can add your page numbers as you normally would. For most people this means changing the header or footer to include the page number. Remember, as well, that headers and footers can vary by section of your document. Thus, this new section can include the page number in the header or footer, and the previous section can omit it.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (178) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Changing the Starting Page Number.

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Comments for this tip:

Greg Quick    17 Aug 2015, 23:58
Word only did what somebody directed.

Check the section formatting to confirm the page numbers continue from the previous section.

Check also for the new section starting on an odd or even page which may cause the page numbering for the section toskip pages.
James R. Gardner    21 Sep 2014, 02:29
I customized my page numbering to begin with my "Prologue" page (this is a novel), and to physically appear and print from that point on. However, after page 71, instead of numbering the next page as page 72, it numbered it page 4, then proceeded from there. I did not do anything to change my settings. Why is Word messing up my page numbering?

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