How to Start Page Numbers on Page 3 in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Starting page numbers on page 3 in Word is a handy trick for creating professional documents. Essentially, you’ll need to use section breaks and headers and footers tools. By following a few easy steps, you can have your document’s page numbers begin on the third page without any fuss.

How to Start Page Numbers on Page 3 in Word

Alright, let’s get those page numbers starting on page 3! These steps will help you achieve this in Microsoft Word:

Step 1: Open Your Document

Open your Word document where you want to start page numbering from page 3.

Make sure your document is ready to go. If you’ve already got content on the first two pages, you’re on the right track.

Step 2: Insert a Section Break

Go to the end of page 2. Click on the "Layout" tab, select "Breaks," and then choose "Next Page" under Section Breaks.

This step is crucial because it separates the first two pages from the rest of the document, allowing you to modify the page numbering independently.

Step 3: Access the Header or Footer

Double-click either the header or footer area of page 3. This will open the Header and Footer Tools.

This gives you control over the page numbering and other header/footer elements on page 3 and beyond.

Step 4: Unlink from Previous Section

Click on "Link to Previous" in the Header and Footer Tools to turn it off. This ensures that the headers and footers are not connected to the previous section.

By unlinking, you can modify the header or footer on page 3 without affecting pages 1 and 2.

Step 5: Insert Page Numbers

Now, click on "Page Number" in the Header and Footer Tools, then select "Format Page Numbers."

This is where you set up your page numbering format.

Step 6: Set the Page Numbering to Start at 1

In the Page Number Format dialog box, set the "Start at" value to 1, and then click OK.

This tells Word to begin numbering at 1 on page 3.

Step 7: Insert the Page Number in Footer or Header

After formatting, click on "Page Number" again and choose where you want the number to appear (Top of Page, Bottom of Page, etc.).

Place your page numbers where you prefer. They will now start on page 3, beginning with the number 1.

When you complete these steps, you’ll notice that pages 1 and 2 have no page numbers, and page 3 starts with page number 1. This is a neat way to keep your title or introductory pages free of numbers while still maintaining a professional format.

Tips for Starting Page Numbers on Page 3 in Word

  1. Save Your Work: Always save your document before making significant changes.
  2. Double-Check Formatting: Ensure that the section break is properly inserted; otherwise, the numbering might not start correctly.
  3. Update Table of Contents: If you have a Table of Contents, update it to reflect the new page numbers.
  4. Use Print Preview: Check the document in Print Preview mode to confirm your changes.
  5. Practice Makes Perfect: Try this a couple of times on a test document to become comfortable with the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my page numbers still appearing on pages 1 and 2?

Double-check the section break and ensure "Link to Previous" is turned off.

Can I start page numbers on any page other than page 3?

Yes, you can start page numbers on any page by following similar steps.

Do I need to use the same procedure in older versions of Word?

The steps are mostly similar, but the menu options might differ slightly depending on the Word version.

Will this affect my document’s layout?

No, adding section breaks and page numbers should not affect the layout of your content.

Can I customize the page number format?

Absolutely, you can choose different number styles, such as Roman numerals or letters, in the Page Number Format dialog box.


  1. Open Your Document
  2. Insert a Section Break
  3. Access the Header or Footer
  4. Unlink from Previous Section
  5. Insert Page Numbers
  6. Set the Page Numbering to Start at 1
  7. Insert the Page Number in Footer or Header


Starting page numbers on page 3 in Word might seem tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze. This little trick can make your documents look more polished and professional. Whether you’re working on a school project, a business report, or any formal document, knowing how to control page numbers can be a real game-changer.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to experiment with section breaks and page numbering to see what works best for your specific needs. Also, make use of Print Preview to confirm everything looks just right before finalizing your document.

Feel free to share this guide with colleagues or friends who might find it helpful. If you have more questions about Word or any other software, there are plenty of online resources and tutorials to explore. Happy formatting!