How to Add Page Numbers in Google Docs A Step-by-Step Guide

how to add page numbers in google docs

Google Docs is a powerful and user-friendly word processing tool that many individuals and businesses rely on for creating and editing documents. One common requirement in document formatting is adding page numbers, especially for academic papers, reports, or manuscripts. Fortunately, Google Docs makes it easy to include page numbers in your document. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to add page numbers in Google Docs.

Open Your Document

To begin, open the Google Docs document in which you want to add page numbers. If you haven’t already created the document, you can start a new one by going to Google Docs ( and selecting “Blank” or choosing a template that suits your needs.

Click on “Insert”

At the top of the Google Docs window, you will find a menu bar. Click on the “Insert” option to access a dropdown menu with various options for adding elements to your document.

Select “Page Numbers”

From the dropdown menu under “Insert,” click on “Page numbers.” A sub-menu will appear with several options for formatting the page numbers in your document.

Choose Page Number Location

In the sub-menu, you’ll see three options for page number locations

  • HeaderThis places the page number in the top margin of the page, aligned with the text.
  • FooterThis places the page number in the bottom margin of the page, aligned with the text.
  • Page Margins*This option allows you to place the page number in the left or right margin of the page.

Choose the option that best suits your document’s formatting needs. For this example, we will select “Header.”

Select Page Number Format

Once you’ve chosen the page number location, you can select the page number format. Google Docs offers three options for formatting page numbers

Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3)

Lowercase Roman numerals (i, ii, iii)

Uppercase Roman numerals (I, II, III)

Choose the format that you prefer for your document. For most documents, Arabic numerals are the standard choice.

Choose Starting Page Number

Next, you can choose the starting page number for your document. By default, Google Docs starts page numbering from “1.” However, if your document requires a different starting page number, you can adjust it in this step.

Customise Page Number Alignment and Style

Google Docs allows you to further customise the appearance of your page numbers. Click on “More options” to access additional settings. Here, you can

  • Choose alignment Align the page numbers to the left, centre, or right of the header or footer.
  • Select font style and size Change the font style and size of the page numbers to match your document’s typography.
  • Add prefix or suffix Optionally, you can include a prefix or suffix before or after the page number. For example, “Page 1 of 10.”

Customise these options according to your document’s style and requirements.

Apply Page Numbers

After customising the page number settings to your liking, click the “Apply” button. Google Docs will automatically insert the page numbers at the selected location (header, footer, or margins) on each page of your document.

Review and Edit

Once the page numbers are added, take a moment to review your document to ensure they are placed correctly and look as intended. You can make further adjustments or edits if necessary.

Save Your Document

Finally, don’t forget to save your document to retain the page numbers. Google Docs automatically saves your work in real-time, but it’s a good practice to save a copy locally or export it to your preferred file format.


When I add a page number my Header disappears?

The only reason your ‘running head’ is disappearing is because you’re using the ‘top of page’ page numbering option to apply the numbering. Select the position you want the page # to appear at and use the ‘current position’ page numbering option instead.

Why won’t my page numbers go in order?

If you notice the page count starts over, it could be because you set up a section break with a different number scheme. You can remove the section break, but there’s an alternative. To make the page numbers continuous: Click on the page with the incorrect number, then go to Insert > Page Number > Format Page Numbers.

In conclusion, adding page numbers in Google Docs is a straightforward process that enhances the professional appearance and organisation of your documents. Whether you’re working on a research paper, a business report, or any other document, these steps will help you incorporate page numbers seamlessly. Customise the page number format and style to suit your document’s specific requirements, and you’ll have a polished and well-structured document ready for sharing or printing.

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