Formatting Page Numbers using Different Styles in Microsoft Word

I am attempting to format page numbers in a graduate level thesis using Microsoft Word.

I have the number ‘i’ for my table of contents page, however when I switch to the text portion of my paper and I format the page numbers as 1 and following, all previous formatting is changed.

Basically, I want to be able to format page numbers with Roman numerals and traditional numbers as well.

— Submitted by Stephen from the United States


Formatting page numbers differently for the various parts of your Microsoft Word document can be accomplished by creating sections. Then each section can have its own numbering sequence and style.

To create sections so you can style the page numbers, follow these steps:

  1. Insert your cursor at the bottom of the last page of your front matter.
  2. On the ribbon, select the Page Layout tab and find the Page Setup group.
  3. Click Breaks, then under Section Breaks, select Next Page.
  4. The cursor jumps to the next page (or creates a new page if there is no next page). You may need to remove a few line breaks to bump your content back up to the top. Be careful not to delete the section break (you can see it by pressing Ctrl+*).
  5. Go to the bottom of the first page of this new section and double-click inside the footer. This activates the Header & Footer Tools tab on the ribbon.
  6. On Header & Footer Tools tab, in the Navigation group, deselect Link to Previous. This breaks the connection between the footer in this new section and the footer in the previous section. (To deselect Link to Previous, just click the words. Once you hover over the words the button appears. If Link to Previous is grayed out, it means you only have one section in your document so there are no sections to link or unlink.)

Now you can format the numbering in the body of the document and it won’t change the numbering in your front matter.

If you are creating appendices that need their own numbering stream (A1, A2, B1, B2, etc.), just repeat the process to create a new section.


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It Works!
by: Barn

This particular formatting problem has been mine for a long time! Talk about frustrating! In any case, I followed the instructions to the “t” and it worked perfectly! Needless to say, I bookmarked this site and page for future reference!Great site! Thank you…..

Glad it helped!
by: Sue

Barn-I’m glad this tip helped you solve a long-time problem with Microsoft Word. Your comment made my day!

Roman Numerals
by: Anonymous

It really works. Excellent Tool

by: Mia

Thanks so much, It works