How to start numbering your pages on (for example) page 3

In more formal texts, such as theses and dissertations, it is common that page numbers only start with the introduction or background. In other words, the pages that include your title, abstract and table of contents are usually not numbered. 

This step-to-step guide describes how to start numbering your pages on, for instance, page 3. Note that exactly where you begin numbering your pages depends on your specific text and which layout is required.

The guide is made for the latest version of MS Word, both for PC and Mac.

1. Start by clicking on ¶ to show the section break.

Screenshot page numbers english, 1 of 5

2. Put the cursor after the text on the page that should be the last page without a page number, for example, the table of contents.

3. Click on the Layout tab. Select Breaks → Sections Breaks → Next Page.

Screenshot page numbers english, 2 of 5

4. Put the cursor on the page where the page numbering should start (that is, section two in the document).

5. Click on the Insert tab and Page Number. Select position and style for pagination.

Screenshot page numbers english, 3 of 5

6. Click on the bottom of the page to activate the Header & Footer menu. Deactivate Link to Previous and check that Different First Page is unchecked.

Screenshot page numbers english, 4 of 5

7. To ensure your pages begin with 1, go to the Insert tab → Page Number. Select Format Page Numbers... → Page numbering → Start at and add 1.

Screenshot page numbers english, 5 of 5

8. Manually delete the page numbers on the first pages of section 1 by double-clicking on them and then deleting them.

9. That's it, you're finished. Well done!

Did you find the information on this page useful?

If you would like us to get back to you, please submit your contact information in the form below along with your feeback.

I agree that my (optional) personal data (name, e-mail) is stored in accordance with the Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The information is only used to contact the person using the form.
Last updated: 2023-08-07