How to Add Page Numbers in Pages

by Nov 26, 2023Pages

If you’ve ever struggled with adding page numbers to your document, worry no more. In this guide, we’ll explore the easiest and most effective ways to insert page numbers, customize their appearance, and handle different sections in your document.

Getting Started

The simplest way to add page numbers is by inserting them in a header or a footer. Hover over the top or bottom of your page to reveal these fields.

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If they aren’t visible, check if your headers and footers are turned on in the document settings.

To enable them, click the Document icon on the right, navigate to the Document tab, and ensure the Header and Footer checkboxes are checked.

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Inserting & Formatting Page Numbers

Once your headers and footers are visible, click inside the bottom center field, and an option to insert page numbers will appear.

Alternatively, you can go to Menu —> Insert —> Page Numbers. I prefer inserting them directly in the header or footer because you get an option to choose from four different numbering styles.

With page numbers added and selected, head to the Format tab at the top to customize the style. Make it bold, increase the font size, or change the color to enhance visibility.

Word Processing vs. Page Layout

Before we continue, we have to briefly talk about the different document styles in Pages. In Mac Pages, you’ll typically work with either a Word Processing or a Page Layout file.

To check that you have word processing file, click the Document icon, and under the Document tab, ensure the Document Body is checked.

You can also go to File —> Convert to check the file type.

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Dealing with Sections

In most cases, your document will have multiple sections with different formatting needs. Divide your document into sections by placing the cursor where a new section should start and then insert a section break. This is especially useful for larger documents.

To distinguish sections easily, change the background color of each section by going to Document —> Section —> Background Color.

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Front Matter and Special Formatting

Modify each section based on its content. For Front Matter, use lower Roman numerals for page numbers

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Adjust page numbering settings to start from 1 on the main title page and hide page numbers on the first page of a section, if needed.

Advanced Formatting Options

For more complex documents, you can choose to skip page numbers or use different formats in separate sections. You can control this under Page Numbering settings.

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Activate Facing Pages for double-sided documents. Customize headers, footers, and section layouts independently for left- and right-facing pages.

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Managing Page Layout Documents

In Page Layout documents, where text is organized within textboxes, there are three ways to add page numbers:


  1. Hover over the Header & Footer areas to insert page numbers.
  2. Edit the page template to control the layout and positioning of page numbers.
  3. Create a text box, insert pages, format it as desired, and place copies on different pages.
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Wrapping Up

With these steps, you’ll not only master the art of adding page numbers but also gain insights into handling various document types and sections. 

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