Insert Different Page Numbers in different sections of a Word Document

What if you need to use different page number formats (1, 2,….or I, II, …. or A, B, C,….etc.) in different sections of a document? Many writers follow this convention of using Roman numerals in the initial few pages and continue with integer numbers for the rest of the pages of the document.

To achieve such page numbering style in MS Word, we need to use  Section Breaks. Each document section can have unique page number format.

The following procedure shows how to insert Roman numerals on the Footer section of the first three pages of a document and then integers for the rest of the document.


Firstly, will divide the document into two sections by applying a Section Break. The first section will consist of the first three pages of the document.

To apply a section break

  1. Place mouse cursor at the bottom of the third page of the document.
  2. From the Ribbon, under the tab Page Layout, within the group Page Setup, click Breaks. A drop-down list appears.
  3. From the list, select option Next Page available under Section Breaks.

See the following image:

next page

Word inserts a Section Break at the end of the third page. If you are unable to view the Section Break, click Ctrl+Shift+8. With a Section break, Word divides the document into two logical sections.

To enable the Footer section of the document

  1. Right-click at the bottom of the document and then click Edit Footer. Word enables the Footer section.
  2. Place cursor at the Footer section of the third page (where you are going to insert page number). Now, we are going to insert page number in the footer.

To insert page number

    1. On the Insert tab, within the group Header & Footer, click the Page Number drop-down and then point to Current Position. From the Current Position sub menu, select Plain Number (see below image). Word inserts a page number at the cursor position for the first three pages.
    2. Subsequently, change the page number format to Roman numbers.
      1. Select the page number that has been inserted.
      2. On the Insert tab, within the group Header & Footer group, click Page Number and then navigate to Format Page Numbers.
      3. On the Format Page Numbers dialog box, select Roman numerals from the Number Format drop-down list.
      4. Word replaces the integer numbers with Roman numerals as pages i, ii and iii.

See the following image:

insert page number

                    3.  Now, place cursor at the Footer section of the fourth page. Then, on the Insert tab, within the group Header & Footer, click the Page Number drop-down and then click Current Position drop-down list and select Plain Number format. Word will insert page number starting with number.

Note: If you do not want your cover page to have the page number, do the following:

    1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click the arrow button on the right bottom corner. The Page Setup window appears.
    2. Select the Different First Page check box.
    3. Click OK.


About wordknowhowhttp://wordknowhow.comThis blog site was started to help people with Microsoft Word. I use Word a lot at work, and I understand that some features are difficult to use. There were no simplified instructions online to help me use these features. It is for this reason that this site exists; to make your life easier with Word. Feel free to post your comments, queries, suggestions, etc. I will do my best to help you!

38 thoughts on “Insert Different Page Numbers in different sections of a Word Document

  1. Thank you so much! I needed this for my thesis and my instructor was unaware of how to do so. I am going to send him this page so he can use it for future reference with other students having the same issues. 🙂

  2. Thank you for the tips on Word. I have a document where i want to place pages in Roman numbers up to page three. Then from there i want to start all over and make the supposedly 4th page be first page again and use different numbering like a, b c…..
    How do i go about it?

  3. Almost helps. Here’s a new page-numbering puzzle for you: How do you keep track of two different page numbering sequences in one footer?

    For example: I have a functional specification. About 200 pages long. There are numerous sub-sections to the functional spec. Some 2-pages. Some are 70-80 pages.

    I would like to have one page number that tracks the overall document page number. And a second page number that tracks the section page number(note: each section of the functional spec is separated by a Page Break).

    I can put automatic page numbering in one footer. But when I format the page number for one, the other is updated as well.

    Thank you,

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  6. How do you change the page number style? For example, the Two Bars style has two grey bars. How can I make them a different color? BTW, I’ve learned some cool tricks on your blog — thanks so much!

    • Thanks Anne, glad to hear that.
      To change the page number style,
      1) From the “Insert” menu, under the group “Header & Footer”, click “Page Number”.
      2) From the drop-down list, select any of the styles.
      You can easily change colors of any object in the header or footer in edit mode.

      Right-click on the extreme top or bottom sections of the page and then click, Edit Header or Edit Footer icon.

      In the edit mode, select the bars and then from “Home” menu, under group “Paragraph”, click “Borders and Shading”.

      From the Borders and Shading dialog box, under tab Borders, select your desired color from the “Color” drop-down field.

      Hope this helps….plz let me know if you have any issue doing this.

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