Insert a Page Number in APA Format

Copy the Word screen shots below to insert a page number in APA format.

The page number is located in the Word header.

The APA style has the page number on every page, including the title page.

Your instructor may vary this requirement - follow your instructor's guidelines.

Select one  of the following that applies to you:


Page Number in APA Format on Every Page

Page numbers must be:

  • placed at the top of every page in the Word header
  •  included on the title page
  • in Arabic numeral format (i.e. 1, 2, 3)
  • right aligned, that is, flush against the right margin.

Is your academic paper to be written in the APA Student Paper style, or the APA Professional Paper style?

The Student Paper version contains the page number only; the Professional paper version has the page number and a running head, that is, the shortened title - see APA website (opens in new page). 

See Running Head in APA Format (Professional Style) to insert the running head and page number in APA format.

Page Number in the  Header (APA 7th Edition - Student Paper) 

To insert APA page numbers (student paper style):

Step 1

Step 1: Select the Insert tab of the Word ribbon to format the page number in APA styleFigure 1: Select the Insert tab of the Word ribbon

Written instructions for Figure 1 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Select the Insert tab of the ribbon.
    Note: You can do this on any page of your Word document. All your pages will be numbered from page 1.
    However, I recommend you set up your page number on the first page as soon as you create your document. You will then be able to refer to a page number as you write your document.

Step 2

Step 2: Place the page number in the header to format the page number in APA styleFigure 2: Select Top of Page to place the page number in the header

Written instructions for Figure 2 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Select Top of Page.

Step 3

Step 3: Place the page number against the right margin to format the page number in APA styleFigure 3: Select Plain Number 3 to place the page number against the right margin

Written instructions for Figure 3 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Select Plain Number 3.
    This will insert the page number in APA format, that is,  Arabic numeral right aligned.

Word will number all your page numbers from now on.

Word will renumber your pages if you add, insert or delete any pages.


Page Number Starting After the Title Page

Instructors may modify the APA style.

A common modification is to have no page number on the title page, and begin page numbering on the next page.

Follow the following screen shots to begin page numbering after the title page.

There are two possibilities as follows:

Page Number Not Displayed on the Title Page

Step 1

Set first page header, that is, the title page header different to other pagesFigure 4: Set up unique title page header

Written instructions for Figure 4 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Open the header (double click at the top of the page).
    This can be done on any page - the first, that is the title page or any other page.
  2. Select Different First Page in the Options group.
    This means the title page can have a header that does not display the page number, and other pages can display the page number in the header.

Step 2

Place page number in the Page 2 headerFigure 5: Position page number on Page 2 header

Written instructions for Figure 5 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Place the cursor in the header of page 2 (or any page except the title page).
  2. Select page number (if the header is not showing, double click at the top of the page).
  3. Select Top of Page.

Step 3

Right align the page numberFigure 6: Place page number against right margin

Written instructions for Figure 6 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Select Plain Number 3.
    This will display the page number in APA format, that is, Arabic numerals aligned against the right margin.
  2. Double click on the header label to close the Header and Footer displays.

Now, the header on the title page will be blank, and subsequent pages will have page numbers starting at 2.

Title Page Without a Page Number

Step 1 

Insert a section break at the end of the title page.Figure 7: Insert section break at end of page

Written instructions for Figure 7 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Place the cursor at the end of page 1.
  2. Select the Layout tab in the ribbon.
  3. Select Breaks.
  4. Select Next Page.
    The title page will be in section 1.
    Subsequent pages will be in section 2.

Step 2

The link between the title page and the following page headers are brokenFigure 8: Remove link to Title Page header

Written instructions for Figure 8 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Double click at the top of page 2 to open the Header & Footer.
  2. Click on Link to Previous.
    This deselects the link to the title page header.
  3. Select Page Number.
  4. Select Format Page Numbers.

Step 3

Format Section 2 header to start with page number 1Figure 9: Format Section 2 header to start with page number 1

Written instructions for Figure 9 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Select Start at 1.
    The page number in section 2 will be formatted to start at 1.
    Note: The page number will not yet be inserted (see Step 4).
  2. Select OK.

Step 4

Insert page number 1 for the first page of section 2Figure 10. Insert right aligned page number for section 2

Written instructions for Figure 10 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Select Page Number.
  2. Select Top of Page.
  3. Select Plain Number 3.
    The page number in section 2 (the first page after the title page) will start at number 1.

Table of Contents

The APA style has no guidelines for a Table of Contents.

Nevertheless, some academic papers will have a Table of Contents, for example, a report.

How to number the pages? 

The following situations can occur:

  • The page number begins with the Arabic numeral 1 on the title page.
    This is the standard  page number in APA format - follow Figures 1 to 3.
  • The Table of Contents (immediately after the title page) starts with the number 1 - follow Figures 4 - 6.
  • The Table of Contents (immediately after the title page) starts with the Roman numeral i. Pages after the Table of Contents begin with the Arabic numeral 1.
    Follow Figures 7 to 10 with the following additional steps:
    - format section 2 with Roman numerals for the page number.
    - insert a section break at the end of the Table of Contents (to create a section 3).
    - format section 3 with Arabic numerals beginning with 1.

Summary

Inserting APA page numbers in your Word document is fairly simple.

You must use the Word function to insert page numbers in the header because if you add, change or delete pages, Word will automatically renumber the pages.