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 The "defaults" in the dialog box should look like the settings you originally made for that document.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

Animated Menus

Want to get a bit fancy with how the Word interface behaves? You can configure Word so that its menus don't just appear, they ...

Discover More

Chopped Off Page Borders

Tired of your page borders not printing out as you expect? The problem could be due to any number of settings or conditions. ...

Discover More

Extracting Street Numbers from an Address

Want to know how to move pieces of information contained in one cell into individual cells? This option exists in using ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Changing the Starting Page Number

Word normally numbers pages in a document starting at one and extending as far as the number of pages you have. If you want, ...

Discover More

Adding Page Numbers in Headers or Footers

While Word has a default format for page numbers, you can design and specify how you want them to appear in your document. ...

Discover More

Formatting Page Numbers

Need to format the page numbers you added to your document? Word makes it easy, using the same techniques you use to format ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 8 - 2?

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.