How to Start Page Numbers on Page 3 in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Starting page numbers on page 3 in Word might seem like a tricky task, but it’s actually quite simple once you know how. By following a few easy steps, you can have your document set up with page numbers starting exactly where you want them.

Step by Step Tutorial: Starting Page Numbers on Page 3 in Word

Before we dive into the steps, let’s quickly go over what we’re aiming to achieve. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have page numbers starting on the third page of your Word document, which is particularly useful for documents with a title page and a table of contents.

Step 1: Open the Header & Footer Tools

Double-click the header or footer area on the third page of your document.

This will open the Header & Footer Tools on the ribbon, which is where you’ll find all the options you need to insert and format page numbers.

Step 2: Insert Page Number

Click on ‘Page Number’ in the Header & Footer Tools and select where you want the numbers to appear.

You can choose from various positions, such as top or bottom of the page, and different alignments like left, center, or right.

Step 3: Format Page Numbers

Choose ‘Format Page Numbers’ from the drop-down menu to open the Page Number Format dialog box.

This is where you can set the starting number for your page numbers. You’ll want to set it to ‘1’ so that the third page of your document is numbered as ‘1’.

Step 4: Break the Link to Previous Sections

Click ‘Link to Previous’ in the Header & Footer Tools to deselect it.

This ensures that the header and footer on the third page are not linked to the previous sections, allowing you to start the page numbering from this page.

Step 5: Add Numbers to the Remaining Pages

Navigate to the next page and repeat steps 2 and 3 to add numbers to the rest of the document.

Remember to keep ‘Link to Previous’ deselected to maintain the correct numbering sequence.

After completing these steps, your document will now have page numbers starting from the third page. This means that if you have a title page and a table of contents, your actual content will begin with page number 1, keeping everything neat and organized.

Tips for Starting Page Numbers on Page 3 in Word

  • Always double-check that ‘Link to Previous’ is deselected to avoid numbering issues.
  • If you have different sections in your document, you might need to repeat these steps for each section.
  • You can also customize the font and style of your page numbers to match the rest of your document.
  • It’s a good idea to save your document before making changes to page numbers, just in case you need to revert back.
  • If your document already has page numbers, you can remove them before starting the process to ensure a clean slate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I want to start page numbers on page 3?

You might have a title page and a table of contents that you don’t want to include in the main page numbering.

Can I start page numbers on a different page, not just page 3?

Absolutely! The steps are the same; just start the process on the page where you want the numbering to begin.

What if my document has multiple sections?

You’ll need to repeat the steps for each section where you want the numbering to start on a specific page.

Can I use Roman numerals for the first few pages and then switch to Arabic numbers?

Yes, you can format the page numbers differently for each section by following step 3 and selecting the desired number format.

Will these steps work on all versions of Word?

The steps might vary slightly depending on your version of Word, but the general process is the same.


  1. Open the Header & Footer Tools.
  2. Insert page number.
  3. Format page numbers.
  4. Break the link to previous sections.
  5. Add numbers to the remaining pages.


Mastering how to start page numbers on page 3 in Word can save you from a lot of headaches, especially when dealing with formal documents like dissertations, reports, or manuscripts. It’s all about knowing where to look and what buttons to press. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be formatting documents like a pro in no time. Remember, it’s not just about making your document look good; it’s also about adhering to the formatting standards often required in academic and professional settings. So, go ahead and give it a try, and see how a simple adjustment to your page numbers can make a big difference in the presentation of your work.

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