Q. Adding page numbers to a dissertation using sections (Microsoft Word 2016)


Dissertation guidelines require different styles of numbering for various parts of the text:

  • Title page & Copyright Declaration - no numbering
  • Abstract, Acknowledgements, Contents, List of Tables & Figures -small case Roman Numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, etc.)
  • Main body, starting from chapter 1 - Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4 etc.)
  • Appendices - use letter name of appendix and Roman Numerals (A-1, A-2, B-1 etc.)

Section Breaks are used to separate these parts of the text into sections allowing different numbering formats to be applied to each.

Tip: Instead of hitting return on your keyboard to create a new page instead click on the Insert tab and then click Page Break.

Page Breaks and Section Breaks are important , and if you have put them in incorrectly they will have to be removed or added in. 

To see all the page and section breaks your document has just click on the view tab and click on draft view.

A page break looks like a  short dotted line. A section break will be a dotted line with the text "section break" and it will fo all the way across the page.

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Creating a section Break

It's usually easier to view your document in draft view. Click the view tab and then click on draft view

  1. Place the cursor at the end of text on the page where you want the first section to end
  2. Go to the Page Layout tab and in the Breaks dropdown menu select Next Page to create the page break

If you place the section break in the wrong place and wish to remove it (while in draft view) left click on it so the cursor is flashing on it and hit the delete key on your keyboard. 

Adding Page numbers to your new section and unlinking from previous section.

  1. Next place the cursor on the first page of the next section (it will probably be there already) , click on the Insert tab and click Page Number (beside Header & footer)
  2. Click on Bottom of Page from drop down list.
  3. The Footer bar will appear at the bottom of the page (Header will appear if Top of page is selected) displaying the Section name e.g. Section 1, Section 2.
  4.  It will also display whether the numbering format has continued from the previous section (if on a second or subsequent section). This will display as Same as Previous. If Same as Previous is present on the Footer (or Header) bar on the page, the Link to Previous tab will be highlighted in blue in the Design Toolbar at the top of the page


  1. Click Link to Previous to turn it off, this removes the Same as Previous tabs from the Header & Footer in this section of the document and allows a new formatting style to be inserted.
  2. Click on Page Number from Header Footer Tool bar at top of page

Formatting Page Numbers for your section

  1. Click Page Number from the design tab and then click format page numbers from the drop down list.
  2. Choose the appropriate Number Format for the relevant section e.g. lower case Roman Numerals
  3. Edit the Page Numbering to Start at a particular number or Continue from the previous section.
  4. Click OK

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  • Last Updated Wed,Dec,2020
  • Views 70
  • Answered By Aine Meehan

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