How to Add a Page Number to the Margin in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding page numbers to the margins of your Word document is a nifty trick to give it a more professional look. It might seem daunting at first, but it’s actually pretty simple. By following a few steps, you can have your document looking sharp and ready for presentation or submission.

Step by Step Tutorial: Adding a Page Number to the Margin in Word

Before we dive into the nifty steps, let’s talk about what we’re aiming to achieve here. By adding page numbers to the margins, we’re making our document easier to navigate and giving it a polished touch. It’s like adding a little flair to your outfit—it’s not necessary, but it sure looks good.

Step 1: Open the Header & Footer Tools

Click on the ‘Insert’ tab and select ‘Header & Footer.’

When you do this, the main text of your document will appear dimmed, and a new set of tools will appear at the top of your screen. These Header & Footer Tools are your new best friends for anything involving, well, headers and footers.

Step 2: Choose Your Margin

Decide whether you want your page number in the header (top of the page) or footer (bottom of the page).

Think about the overall layout of your document. Is there more space at the top or the bottom? That’s where your page numbers should go.

Step 3: Insert Page Numbers

Click on ‘Page Number’ and choose the position and style you prefer.

You’ll see a bunch of different styles and positions to choose from—left, center, right, with dashes, without dashes. Pick the one that tickles your fancy.

Step 4: Formatting the Numbers

Format the numbers by clicking on ‘Page Number’ again and selecting ‘Format Page Numbers.’

Here, you can decide if you want roman numerals, Arabic numbers, or something else. You can also choose to start numbering from a specific page—handy if you’ve got a title page that you don’t want numbered.

Step 5: Close the Header & Footer Tools

Click ‘Close Header and Footer’ or double-click outside the header or footer area.

And just like that, you’ve got yourself some snazzy page numbers in the margin.

After you complete these steps, the page numbers will appear on every page of your document in the position and style you chose. They will automatically update if you rearrange pages within the document. It’s a small touch that goes a long way in making your document look more organized and professional.

Tips for Adding a Page Number to the Margin in Word

  • If you want the first page of your document to be different (like a title page), check the ‘Different First Page’ option in the Header & Footer Tools.
  • If you’re working with sections in your document and want different numbering styles, remember to link or unlink the sections as needed.
  • Double-check that your page numbers aren’t overlapping with any of the existing text in the margins.
  • Consider the overall design of your document—sometimes, right-aligned page numbers can look sleek, while at other times, center alignment can give a more balanced feel.
  • Remember that you can always go back and change the style or position of your page numbers if you change your mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add page numbers to just one section of my document?

Yes, you can. Just make sure to unlink the section from the previous one before you start adding page numbers.

What if I don’t want a page number on my first page?

Easy peasy. Just check the box that says ‘Different First Page’ in the Header & Footer Tools, and you’re good to go.

Can I use different styles of page numbers in the same document?

Absolutely! You can format each section with different page number styles. Just remember to unlink the sections.

How do I remove page numbers if I change my mind?

Just go back to the Header & Footer Tools, click on ‘Page Number,’ and select ‘Remove Page Numbers.’

Can I still edit my document’s text after adding page numbers?

Yes, you can. Adding page numbers doesn’t affect your ability to edit the text in the rest of the document.


  1. Open the Header & Footer Tools.
  2. Choose your margin.
  3. Insert page numbers.
  4. Format the numbers.
  5. Close the Header & Footer Tools.


Adding a page number to the margin in Word is a simple way to enhance the readability and professionalism of your document. Whether you’re crafting a report for work, a paper for school, or just organizing your personal files, those little numbers can make a big difference. They not only guide the reader through your document but also add a touch of sophistication to your work.

Remember, it’s all about the details when it comes to creating a standout document. Page numbers are a small detail, but they show that you care about the presentation of your work. And in a world where first impressions count, that can make all the difference. So, give it a go—add those page numbers to your next Word document and watch as it transforms from good to great.

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy