How to Automatically Number Pages in Microsoft Word

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On the screen, Microsoft Word documents follow a pretty simple flow -- by just scrolling or pressing the "Page Down" key, you can read the file linearly. But after printing out a Word document, all bets are off. Papers may become shuffled, dropped or distributed, and without a way to get them back in order, readers stand a chance at getting lost. To plant a visible landmark for readers and keep your document in order, add page numbers. Word helps out with the process by automatically numbering the pages, even if you copy and paste pages and add pages along the way.

  • Open Microsoft Word. If adding page numbers to an existing document, click the "File" tab and select "Open." Browse to the document's file name and double-click it, opening it in a new Word window.

  • Click the "Insert" tab. Click the "Page Number" button in the middle of the ribbon.

  • Select the placement for the page number, such as "Top of Page," and choose one of the options from the fly-out menu for the page number appearance, such as "Plain Number 1." The page numbers are automatically added to any pages already in the document or on the first page if you opened a new Microsoft Word document.

  • Test the automatic page numbering by pressing the "Ctrl" and "Enter" keys together on the keyboard to add pages. Watch how Word automatically updates the page number in the location chosen from the fly-out menu.

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