How to inhibit a page number for the first page in a Word document

Your users might have trouble finding the built-in solution to inhibit a page number, even though it's an easy-to-implement solution.

Many documents don't number the first page. For instance, you wouldn't want a page number on a report or book's title page (its first page). Regardless of the reason, the good news is that omitting the page number from the first page of a document is easy. Unfortunately, the solution isn't obvious. If you support users, they probably won't have any idea how to accomplish this simple task - they'll need help, at first.

First things first: add a page number field that will display a page number on every page to a document's header or footer as follows - you and your users probably know how to do this already:

Word 2007/2010 Word 2003

  1. Double-click the header or footer section of your document to open it.
  2. In the Header & Footer group, click Page Number, and choose a position.

  1. Double-click the header or footer to open it. Or, choose Header and Footer from the View menu.
  2. Click Page Number on the Header and Footer toolbar.

Next, you can omit the page number from the first page, as follows:

Word 2007/2010 Word 2003

  1. Click the Page Layout tab.
  2. Click the Page Setup group's dialog launcher (the small arrow in the bottom-right corner).
  3. Click the Layout tab.
  4. Check the Different First Page option in the Headers and Footers section.
  5. Click OK.

  1. Click Page Setup on the Header and Footer toolbar.
  2. Click the Layout tab.
  3. Check the Different First Page option in the Headers and Footers section.
  4. Click OK.

The page number is no longer visible on the first page. As I mentioned, this isn't an obvious solution.


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.


what if i need the 1st page no (header) to be inhibited but not its footer (say 'eyes only')


I use (and teach) this method for simple documents like long letters and short reports. Unfortunately I also work with section breaks and find that the "Different first page" option shows up in all my sections when I don't want it ... My suggestion? Insert a next page section break and disconnect the headers and footers (turn off the Same as Previous). You can then do anything you wish without worrying about the different first page feature showing up where you don't want it ... A little more work but a lot more control.


After you open the header-footer ribbon and have chosen the type of number and position that you want, in the first part of your instruction, you can see on the same ribbon in the Options panel the choice to use Different First Page.


When I first used Word, I had a bad time with finding out how to get rid if the first page number. I use Word 2003 and have the hang of it. It is hard for the new user.


Yes, thats it. Or- find the beginning of Section 2; select the rest part of the document- from Sec 2 till the end; check out "Different first page option"; choose "Selected text" (or Selected sections) in Apply to... It's a bit longer way though.

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