Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Letters and Numbers in Page Numbers.

Letters and Numbers in Page Numbers

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 8, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


1

In many documents you may have a need to number your pages with a section number as a preface. For instance, you may want them numbered as A-1, A-2, A-3, etc. Exactly how you do this depends on how you have your documents set up. For instance, if each "section" is actually a different document file, then you simply need to set your page numbers this way:

  1. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  2. Assuming you want the page number in the footer, click the Footer tool in the Header & Footer group and then click Edit Footer. Word displays the footer area of the current page and places the insertion point there. (If you want the page number in the header, simply follow this step but look for "Header" instead of "Footer" in each instance.)
  3. Type the section letter followed by a dash. (For instance, A- or B-.)
  4. In older versions of Word, make sure the Design tab of the ribbon is displayed. If you are using a newer version of Word, go to step 5.
  5. Click the Page Number tool in the Header & Footer group. Word displays some options for your page number.
  6. Click Current Position | Plain Number. Word inserts a page number for you.
  7. Format your header or footer as desired.
  8. Click the Close Header and Footer tool near the right side of the ribbon.

If all the sections of your manuscript are in a single document file, just make sure you have a real section break between each of your sections. You can then set up your page numbers this way:

  1. Position the insertion point in the section where you want page numbers.
  2. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  3. Assuming you want the page number in the footer, click the Footer tool in the Header & Footer group and then click Edit Footer. Word displays the footer area of the current page and places the insertion point there. (If you want the page number in the header, simply follow this step but look for "Header" instead of "Footer" in each instance.)
  4. Again, display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  5. Click the Quick Parts tool (in the Text group) and then choose Field. Word displays the Field dialog box.
  6. Make sure the Numbering category is selected in the Categories list. (See Figure 1.)
  7. Figure 1. The Field dialog box.

  8. Choose Section in the Field Names list.
  9. In the Format list, choose the option for capital letters (A B C...).
  10. Click on OK to actually add your field to the header or footer.
  11. Type a dash.
  12. In older versions of Word, make sure the Design tab of the ribbon is displayed. If you are using a newer version of Word, go to step 5.
  13. Click the Page Number tool in the Header & Footer group. Word displays some options for your page number.
  14. Click Current Position | Plain Number. Word inserts a page number for you.
  15. Format your header or footer as desired.
  16. Click the Close Header and Footer tool near the right side of the ribbon.

Remember that these steps work because your document is divided into sections, with one section per major division. If you use more section breaks than you have divisions—such as placing Appendix A into section 3 of your document—then you won't get the desired result. In that case, your page numbering would show C-1, C2, C3, etc. because Appendix A is in section 3. In that case, you must use the approach first described in this tip where you manually type the letters you want to appear before your page number.

Finally, this tip has to do simply with page numbers in headers or footers. If you need the letters and numbers to automatically transfer to a special table, such as a table of contents, then your task becomes more complex. You can see an example of the complexity by visiting this page:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/2d9a939c-2863-45c3-bf5e-74b32972035d

This page is for older versions of Word, but the concepts it uses are still applicable to the latest versions. There are multiple examples on the page, but you'll want to pay particular attention to example 2.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13269) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Letters and Numbers in Page Numbers.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding a File Path and Filename

If you need to stuff the current workbook's filename and path into a cell or a header or footer, you'll appreciate the ...

Discover More

Differences between SEQ and LISTNUM Fields

Word provides several different fields you can use for custom numbering in a document. Two of the most commonly used are ...

Discover More

Automatically Changing Tab Stops in the Footer

If you use a tab stop in your footer to align information at the right margin, you may not get what you expect when you ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Formatting a Cover Page

Formal reports look better when they are set up with an introductory cover page. Here's how you can add a cover page in a ...

Discover More

Understanding Font Styles

Fonts, by default, come with one or more styles that define variations of how that font is displayed in your document. ...

Discover More

Precise Ruler Adjustments

When adjusting the position of things on the Ruler (like tab stops), you can use the Alt key to get very precise in your ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 0?

2023-11-09 16:20:18

Gary Loew

I have been able to include the Chapter Number along side the page number in the footer. I am using MS Word 365. Word's indexing feature will pick up the correct format of the page numbers (i.e., lower case Roman numerals and Arabic numerals), but not the Chapter Number. Is there any way to embed the chapter number within the formatting of the page number so that Indexing will pick up the entire string?


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.