How to add and remove page numbers in Microsoft Word documents

lots of numbers

Page numbers are an important part of many documents that span multiple pages. They help readers navigate through the document and keep track of where they are, as well as communicate clearly with others about references. In this blog post, I’ll cover adding and removing page numbers in a Microsoft Word document.

Let’s begin with adding page numbers in Word documents.

Adding page numbers to Microsoft Word documents

  1. Select the Insert tab in the upper left corner of the window.
  2. Select Page Number in the Header & Footer section.
  3. Choose where you want the page numbers to appear in your document.
Steps to add page numbers to Word documents | Click to enlarge

Notice that once you add page numbers, your ribbon menu shows additional settings for the header or footer (wherever you placed the page number). You could, for instance:

  • Have a cover page without a page number by selecting Different First Page and/or
  • Have odd pages’ numbers aligned left, and even numbered pages aligned right
Header and footer settings that can affect page numbers | Click to enlarge

You might also wish to have your second page start page numbering as page 1 (set Start at to 0 and select Different First Page), or use letters or Roman numbers instead of numbers. You can do this by selecting Page number | Format Page Numbers.

Format page numbers options | Click to enlarge
Video of how to add page numbers to a Word document

Next, let’s take a look at how to remove the page numbers.

Removing page numbers from Microsoft Word documents

  1. Go to Insert | Page Number, then select Remove Page Numbers.
Steps to remove page numbers from a Word document | Click to enlarge
  1. If the Remove Page Numbers option isn’t available or if some page numbers remain, double-click in the header or footer area where the page number is present, select the page number, and press Delete.
Video of how to remove page numbers from a Word document


How to generate random sample paragraphs using Microsoft Word

There are many web tools out there to generate random “lorem ipsum” filler content, but you can do the same thing using Microsoft Word. Simply:

  1. Type =RAND(5) on a line
  2. Hit enter

Instantly, the formula is replaced with five paragraphs of sample content. Replace 5 in the formula with the number of paragraphs you wish you to generate.

See a video demonstration here:

Video demonstration on YouTube

Shoutout to Jaime Velez for telling me about this for the first time. Game-changer!

Want additional tools for different types of sample content? Try the following:

How to delete all comments from a Word doc at once

If you’re collaborating with others on a Word doc, you may reach the end of your revisions and be left with many comments in the document you’d like to remove for the final version. Rather than delete each comment one-by-one, you can simply delete all comments in the document at once in just three clicks.

  1. Click on the Review tab from the top menu
  2. Click the arrow under Delete (in the Comments group)
  3. Choose Delete All Comments in Document
Click to enlarge

Microsoft Word Online Follow-ups feature to be replaced with Comments

The Follow-ups feature in Word Online will be replaced with Comments effective Mar 1, 2021. Comments can be used to notify others and assign tasks by using @mentions.

This was announced via the Message center earlier this month.

What will happen to my existing Follow-ups?

These will be converted to Comments automatically.

How do I use Comments in Word Online?

You can right-click text and select New Comment to create a comment.

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You can use an @mention to notify someone in your organization. Once @mentioned, you can check a box to also assign that user a task.

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The assigned user then receives an email with a snippet of the task’s context and link to full document. The user can choose to respond to the comment without leaving the email by expanding Add a comment, or they can click Go to comment to go to the full document.

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To resolve the task, the user needs to Go to comment and can then check the task off in the original comment’s header as shown below.

Click to enlarge.