Using page breaks to alternate between Roman and Arabic page numbering in a document.

Most of my time at E-zone Internet Café is spent fixing computers, laptops and phones. Ordinarily, the secretarial tasks are handled by my wonderful team of interns and students.

But what keeps interrupting my technical routine are the numerous calls for assistance when a client is faced with a document whose page numbering must have the following;
(i) Title page not numbered,
(ii) The next pages numbered i, ii, iii, iv, and finally
(iii) The main pages numbered 1, 2, 3 and so on.


The rudimentary option
A couple of years back, I always faced the same dilemma but I had a work around. I would create 3 separate documents, thus;

  1. The first document would be the title page and I wouldn’t assign page numbers. I would save this separately as an individual document.
  2. The second document would contain the part of the document for which roman numerals where required e.g. documents that had a preface, foreword, acknowledgement e.t.c. This would also be saved separately and given page numbers in the format i, ii, iii and so on.
  3. The third and probably last document would have the normal page numbering i.e. 1, 2, 3 and so on.

I would eventually print out the individual documents, staple them in the correct order and voila!, to the client, one document with different page numbering style.

The professional option (Using Ms. Word 2007)
In the next steps, we shall use a feature called page breaks in Ms. Word.

Step 1
Prepare the entire document and insert page numbers the normal way. At this moment don’t worry about the different numbering formats; all you need is a complete document with page numbers 1, 2, 3 and so on up to the end.

Step 2

  • At the bottom of the title page, go to Page Layout, choose Breaks and from the list click Next Page. This will help you deal with the page numbering of the title page and a separate section of your document.
  • Click anywhere in the Title page, go to Page Layout and choose Page Setup. Click on the Layout tab and choose Different first page followed by Ok.

This will remove the page number on the first page of any document.

Step 3

  • Click anywhere on the second page of your document.
  • Choose Insert (On the ribbon), go to Page Number, and then choose Format Page Numbers…….
  • In the Number format, choose Roman numerals i.e. i, ii, iii etc.
  • In the same box, choose Start at: and choose i.
  • This will make the second page to start with Roman numerals starting with i, and so on.

NB: All page numbering after here up to the end of the document will appear as Roman Numerals.

Step 4

  • In this step, scroll up to the bottom of the page where the Roman numbering is supposed to stop.
  • Choose Page Layout followed by Breaks and click Next Page. This create another section in your document starting with the next page. This is the section for which normal (Arabic) numbering is required i.e. 1, 2, 3 and so on.
  • Just like in the previous step, choose Insert (On the ribbon), go to Page Number, and then choose Format Page Numbers…….
  • In the Number format, choose Arabic numerals i.e. 1, 2, 3, etc.
  • In the same box, choose Start at: and choose 1.
  • This will make all pages hereafter to start with Arabic numerals starting with 1, and so on.

For more of such tips, feel free to post your query on our facebook page, E-zone School of Computing and you will get a full article for you and other people’s benefit.

Stephen Dumba
E-zone School of Computing
Tel: 0752 111 223   /   0772 111 223