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: Default Font for Page Numbers.

Default Font for Page Numbers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 28, 2012)

Pat wants to know how he can change the default font for inserting page numbers into a header. The answer is quite easy—just change the style used to insert the page number.

Word uses styles for all of its default formatting. For page numbers, the style name is called (appropriately enough) Page Number. Locate the style, change how it is formatted, and then all your page numbers will reflect the changed formatting.

You should note that there are a couple of places you should make the changes. First, you should make it in your Normal.dot file and any other templates you may have defined. This will allow any future page numbers, in new documents based on those templates, to reflect your desired appearance.

The second place to make the change is in any currently existing documents. After you make the changes in your template files (including Normal.dot), open your existing documents. If the page number is not formatted correctly, change the Page Number style to reflect what you need.

With the above being said, you need to understand a potential "gottcha." The Page Number style is only used for page numbers inserted into a header or footer using the Insert Page Number tool on the Header and Footer toolbar. The Page Number style is also applied automatically if you use the Page Numbers command from the Insert menu.

If you instead insert a page number by using the Field dialog box, then the Page Number style is not applied. Instead, the PAGE field assumes the style used by the text wherever the field is inserted. In this case, changing the formatting of the Page Number style has no effect; you need to go in and make a change directly to the formatting of the field itself (using either the various formatting options or by using the charformat switch in the field).

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (525) 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: Default Font for Page Numbers.

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. ...

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