How to Start Page Numbering Later in Word: 2024 Guide

Starting page numbering later in a document in Word can be a handy trick when you’re creating a report or a thesis. By following a few simple steps, you can set up your document so that the page numbering starts on a specific page, rather than at the beginning. This is particularly useful when you have a title page, table of contents, or any other introductory material that shouldn’t be numbered as part of the main document.

Step by Step Tutorial to Start Page Numbering Later in Word

Before diving into the details, let’s understand what these steps will achieve. By following the instructions, you will be able to start the page numbering at a specific page in your Word document, instead of the default which is the very first page.

Step 1: Place your cursor at the start of the page where you want numbering to begin

Click at the beginning of the page where you want your numbering to start.

This step is crucial because it tells Word exactly where you want the page numbering to commence. Make sure you’re at the very top of the page, before any text or images.

Step 2: Navigate to the ‘Layout’ tab and click on ‘Breaks’

In the Word ribbon, find the ‘Layout’ tab, and within that section, click on ‘Breaks’.

By inserting a section break, you’re telling Word to treat the subsequent pages as a new section, which can have different formatting – in this case, different page numbering.

Step 3: Select ‘Next Page’ under Section Breaks

In the ‘Breaks’ menu, choose ‘Next Page’ under the Section Breaks options.

This action creates a new section starting at the cursor’s position. It’s the key step that allows you to have different page numbering formats in the same document.

Step 4: Go to the ‘Insert’ tab and click on ‘Page Number’

After creating a new section, go to the ‘Insert’ tab in the ribbon and click on ‘Page Number’.

This step is where you actually start to control the numbering. You have the option to choose where on the page you want the numbers to appear – for example, at the top or the bottom.

Step 5: Choose your preferred page number position and format

Select where you want the page numbers to appear on the page and decide on the numbering format.

Here you can also define the starting number for this section, which is handy if you want the main body of your document to start on page 1.

Step 6: Click on ‘Format Page Numbers’ to set the starting number

In the same ‘Page Number’ menu, click on ‘Format Page Numbers’ to open additional options.

In the ‘Page Number Format’ window, you can set the ‘Start at’ value to the desired number. This is useful if, for example, you want the numbering to start at page 1 on the third page of your document.

Step 7: Return to the first section and remove the page number

Navigate back to the first section of your document, select the page number, and delete it.

This step is to ensure that the preliminary pages of your document do not have page numbers, which is usually the desired outcome for things like table of contents or title pages.

After you’ve completed these actions, your document will start page numbering from the page you specified, with the previous pages being unnumbered. This will give your document a clean, professional look, especially if it’s a report or manuscript that requires a certain format for its introductory pages.

Tips for Starting Page Numbering Later in Word

  • Make sure to place the section break correctly; it determines where the new numbering starts.
  • Double-check the ‘Start at’ number to ensure you’re beginning with the correct page number.
  • Remember to link to the previous section’s headers and footers if your document requires continuous headers/footers.
  • Preview your document before finalizing to catch any numbering errors.
  • Save your document frequently to avoid losing any changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove numbering from the first page only?

To remove the page number from the first page, go to the ‘Header & Footer’ section, click on ‘Page Number’, select ‘Format Page Numbers’, and then check the box that says ‘Different First Page’.

Can I restart numbering in the middle of a document?

Yes, you can restart numbering at any point in the document by inserting a section break and then formatting the page numbers.

What if I want to use Roman numerals for the first part of my document?

You can select different numbering formats for each section. Just format the page numbers in each section according to your preference.

How do I continue page numbering from a previous section?

To continue numbering, go to the ‘Page Number’ format and choose ‘Continue from previous section’.

Can I have different page number formats in the same document?

Absolutely! Each section can have its own page number format. Just set it up in the ‘Format Page Numbers’ dialog box.


  1. Place the cursor where you want numbering to start.
  2. Go to ‘Layout’ and click ‘Breaks’.
  3. Select ‘Next Page’ under Section Breaks.
  4. Click ‘Page Number’ in the ‘Insert’ tab.
  5. Choose page number position and format.
  6. Click ‘Format Page Numbers’ to set the starting number.
  7. Remove page number from the first section if necessary.


Mastering the art of page numbering in Word is crucial for anyone who deals with multi-page documents. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone who enjoys organized documents, knowing how to start page numbering later in the document is an essential skill. With the 2024 guide provided, you should be able to confidently navigate Word’s layout and insert options to tailor your document’s numbering to your needs. No more awkwardly numbered title pages or out-of-place introductory material!

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to play around with different settings until you find the perfect setup for your document. And always remember to save your work – there’s nothing worse than perfecting your page numbering only to lose all your hard work to a computer mishap. Happy formatting!

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