Turning Off Default First Page Numbering

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 5, 2016)

Judith asked why Word's page numbering defaults to displaying a page number on the first page. When using the Page Numbers dialog box (See Figure 1.) Judith noted that it has the Show Number on First Page check box selected by default. She wants the check box to not be selected by default.

Figure 1. The Page Numbers dialog box.

One would think that the setting of this check box (indeed, any settings in the Page Numbers dialog box) might be saved with the current template. Testing has shown that this is not the case, however. The "defaults" in the Page Numbers dialog box aren't really defaults; they always reflect whatever page number settings you've made in the current document. Try this:

  1. Create a new document.
  2. Choose Page Numbers from the Insert menu. Word displays the Page Numbers dialog box.
  3. Clear the Show Number on First Page check box.
  4. Specify that you want the page number centered at the top of the page.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Save and close the document.
  7. Open a different document, or create another new one.
  8. Choose Page Numbers from the Insert menu. The "defaults" in the Page Numbers dialog box should not look like the settings you made in the previous document.
  9. Dismiss the dialog box.
  10. Open the document you saved in step 6.
  11. Choose Page Numbers from the Insert menu. The "defaults" in the dialog box should look like the settings you originally made for that document.

Because the Page Numbers dialog box represents the settings in the current document, you could load a template (such as the Normal template), make changes to the dialog box, then click OK. The changes are saved, in the template, and will be available every time you start a new document that is based on that template.

If you really want to change the defaults, regardless of what the current settings are in the template or the document, then you need to use a macro. Consider the following macro:

Sub InsertPageNumbers()
    With Dialogs(wdDialogInsertPageNumbers)
        .firstpage = False
        .Display
        .Execute
    End With
End Sub

This macro replaces Word's internal command that is run whenever you choose Page Numbers from the Insert menu. It displays the dialog box, but only after clearing the Show Number on First Page check box. Make this macro a part of your template and it sets the default for you, exactly as you want.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (76) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using Revision Tracking

Want to keep track of the changes other people make to your workbook or even your own changes? Excel makes gathering this ...

Discover More

Determining Picture Size in a Macro

When processing a document using a macro, you may need for your macro to figure out the sizes of the images in your document. ...

Discover More

Applying Borders to Tables

Want to change the borders that Word adds to your tables? You have complete control over the way your borders appear, using ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Adding Page Numbers

Ever want to add page numbers to your document? Word allows you to control many aspects of page numbering. Here's how to add ...

Discover More

Page Numbers are Zeros

If you have a document where the page numbers are always zero, you may be rightly wondering what is happening. This tip ...

Discover More

Odd Page Numbers Disappearing

Page numbers in printed pages are often a necessary part of formatting a document. What do you do if your printed output ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.