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Library Technical Help Guide

This guide provides resources and instructions for technical assistance, including document formatting and printing.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word

On this page you'll find information and instructions on using Microsoft Word in academic assignments, such as

  • Instructions on how to add and edit page numbers and headers
    • Adding page numbers and header
    • Adding multiple types of page number
    • Alternate header formats
  • Building a table of contents
    • Adding and editing heading styles
    • creating and updating a table of contents
       

Click through the tabs in the boxes below for step-by-step instructions and how-to guides.

Standard page numbers and headers - Microsoft Word

How to add page numbers and header in Microsoft Word

Page numbers are a standard requirement in most academic assignments, including reports and essays.

Please note that you should always add page numbers before you add text to your header, as inserting page numbers will remove any text from the header section.

Page numbers:
  1. At the top of the document is a ribbon of menu tabs. Click on the third tab in the ribbon, the Insert tab, to open the Insert menu.
  2. Look for the section titled “Header and Footer,” and click on the button marked “Page Number”: this will open a drop-down menu with options for style and placement of page numbers.
  3. Click on the “top of page,” “bottom of page,” or “current position” buttons in the menu to see page number options that will insert in the header (top), footer (bottom), or body of the page. The most common choice for page numbers is the top-right of the header. This is listed in Word as Plain Number 3 in the "top of page" list.
  4. Once you click on a page number style, it will be automatically inserted into your document.
  5. If you have inserted page numbers into the header or footer of your document, it will open the header and footer sections, which will allow you to add header and footer text.
Header:
  1. First, make sure you've added any desired page numbers, to avoid your header text being deleted.
  2. If you are not carrying on from the instructions above, open the header section of your document: you can do this two ways:
    • double-click in the header area (in the top margin)
    • At the top of the document is a ribbon of menu tabs. Click on the third tab in the ribbon, the Insert tab, to open the Insert menu. Look for the section titled “Header and Footer,” and click on the button marked "Header." Then select the first option, "Blank."
  3. Start typing your header text.
  4. If you have already inserted page numbers, the text will appear beside them. To create more space between your header text and page numbers, press the tab key: once to move your text to the center, and twice to move it to the left side of the header.
  5. Once you have added page numbers and header text, you can close the header by clicking “close header” in the menu at the top of the page, here. Your header is now closed. The page numbers and text you have inserted will appear, greyed out, at the top of each page in your document.
  6. To re-open your header, you can double-click on the header area of your page, like this, or open the “insert” tab again, and click on the “header” button, in the “header and footer” Section; then click “edit header,” at the bottom of the drop-down menu, to re-open your header.

For illustrated written instructions, see the PDF link below.

Multiple Page number types - Microsoft Word

How to create separate sections and page numbers in Microsoft Word

Multiple types of page numbers, such as Roman Numerals and Arabic numerals, are often required in documents for graduate writing, such as theses and dissertations, or materials with indexes or appendixes.

Please note that you should always add page numbers before you add text to your header, as inserting page numbers will remove any text from the header section.

To add two different types of page numbers to a document, you’ll first need to insert section breaks, to allow each section of your document to be altered individually.

Insert a section break:
  1. move the cursor to the bottom of the last page in your section e.g., page 2.
  2. Now click on the “layout” tab in the menu at the top of the page.
  3. In the “Page setup” section, click on the “breaks” button. A drop-down menu will open, with different types of page and section breaks.
  4. Click “Next page” to insert section break starting on the next page in your document.
  5. Click on the “Home” tab in the top menu, and then click on the “show/hide paragraph markings” button to see the section break.
  6. An additional paragraph break – indicated by the paragraph symbol – will also have appeared below the section break: this can be deleted.
  7. Hide paragraph markings again, by clicking the “Show/hide paragraph markings” button.

Once you’ve created separate sections, you can unlink them, so that changes made in one section won’t affect the other.

Unlink sections:
  1. Open the header by double-clicking in the header section. The headers will be marked to show which section they belong to, e.g. “section two.”
  2. On right-hand of the header you’ll also see a marker titled “Same as previous”: this indicates that the two separate header sections are still linked.
  3. To unlink them, go to the Navigation section in the Header and Footer menu at the top of the page, and look for the button marked “link to previous.” – It will already be selected, so click on it again to de-select it and unlink the sections.

Now you can change the page numbers for each section individually, without your changes affecting the other section.

Add multiple page number types:
  1. Starting in the second section of your document, make sure the header is open and your cursor is in the header on the first page of section two.
  2. Click on the “Page number” button, on the left side of the “Header and Footer” menu; then, click on “format page numbers” at the bottom of the drop-down menu.
  3. Under “Page Numbering,” change the setting to “start at…” and make sure the number entered matches your starting number, e.g. "1."
  4. Click “Ok.” This will insert Arabic numeral page numbers in your second section, starting with page number 1.
  5. To change the page numbers in your first section, complete the same first steps: scroll up to your first section header and make sure the cursor is in the header on your first page.
  6. Click “page numbers” in the header and footer menu, and select “format page numbers.”
  7. This time, you'll also change the page number type.
  8. To change the page number type, click “Number format” to open the drop-down list, and select the number type you want to use, e.g. Roman numerals,
  9. Double-check that the selection under “page numbering” starts at the correct number, or letter, e.g. "i," the Roman numeral for 1.
  10. Click "Ok" to close the menu and apply your settings, and then click “close header” in the menu at the top of the page.

For illustrated written instructions, see the PDF link below.

Table of Contents - Microsoft Word

How to build a table of contents in Microsoft Word

Word can automatically create a table of contents for your document. To do this, you will need to have the titles, headings, and subheadings of your document sections marked with a Microsoft Word Style.

Part 1: How to apply a Style
  1. Highlight the words of the title, chapter heading, or subheading you want to include in your table of contents.
  2. Next, select the type of heading you want to apply. In the top menu of Word, go to the Home tab (the second tab in the list) and click on a heading in the Styles list.  
  3. Your selected text will change to match the Heading you have selected
    • NOTE: the type of Style you choose controls where the words will appear in the Table of Contents.
      • Use Heading 1 for your primary heading, such as title, introduction, chapter titles, etc.
      • Use Heading 2 for headings within your chapters, such as separate chapter sections
      • Use Heading 3 for sub-headings that are sub-sections of a smaller section.
  4. You can adjust the font and sizing of headings once you have added them to your titles.
    • Once you have added a Style heading, you can use the Font menu, in the Home menu tab, to change the font, size, and colour of the text. This will not change the Headings setting, or the placement of the title in the table of contents.

Once you have done this for all your headings and sub-headings, you’re ready to build a table of contents.

Part 2: How to build a table of contents
  1. Click on the References tab on the top menu of Word: 
  2. Next, click in the area you would like your table of contents to be (e.g. the first page after your title), and click on the Table of Contents button (pictured above), to open the dropdown menu.
  3. Select your preferred Automatic Table, and click on it. Word will now create a table of contents for you, pulling the information from the headings and sub-headings marked with a Style.
  4. To update or change the information in your table of contents, make the changes in your document, then click on the table of contents and select “Update Table…” You can then choose to update only page numbers, or to update all fields in the table of contents.

For illustrated written instructions, see the PDF link below.

Alternate header formats

Alternate header options in Microsoft Word

 
How to change the first page header

If you do not have page numbers in your document but want a different header on the first page of your document, e.g. the title page:

  1. At the top of the document is a ribbon of menu tabs. Click on the third tab in the ribbon, the Insert tab, to open the Insert menu.
  2. Look for the section titled “Header and Footer,” and click on the button marked “Header”: this will open a drop-down menu with options for style and placement of headers.
  3. Select “Edit Header”
  4. Check the box marked “Different First Page."

Your first page header can now be modified without affecting the header in the rest of your document.

 
How to add a header if you do not have page numbers in your header

These instructions apply if you have page numbers in your footer instead of your header, or if you do not want page numbers in your document.

  1. Under the Insert Menu, go to the Header and Footer section and click on the button marked “Header.” This will open a drop-down menu;
  2. Select the first option, “Blank,” to insert a blank text box in your header field;
  3. A box labelled “type here” will appear at the top of your document, highlighted in grey. Begin typing, and your header will replace this box.
 
How to align your header text to left, centre, or right-side of your document:

These instructions apply if you have a header of any kind, but may affect the placement of your page numbers.

  1. Open the header, and then click on the Home tab in the top ribbon menu;
  2. Move the cursor to the beginning of your header text;
  3. Click on the “align left,” “centre, or “align right” buttons under the Paragraph section.
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