How to Make Page Numbers and Last Names Appear in Microsoft Word

Adding page numbers and last names in Microsoft Word involves using the header/footer feature. After double-clicking at the top or bottom of a page, you’ll be able to insert page numbers and type in your last name. It’s a simple process that takes just a few clicks and keystrokes.

Once you’ve completed the task, the header of each page in your document will display the page number and your last name. This is particularly useful for formal papers, such as those required in academic settings, where this format is often a requirement.


Imagine you’re working on a crucial academic paper or a professional report. You’ve got everything squared away – the research, the analysis, the conclusions. But there’s one thing that’s often overlooked until the last moment: the format. And in many formal documents, having your last name and the page number on every page is a non-negotiable requirement.

But why is this so important? Well, it’s all about professionalism and ease of reference. Think about it – if your document gets printed and the pages get mixed up, having that small bit of information on the top of each page can be a lifesaver for sorting it out. Plus, it gives your document a polished, professional look that says, “Hey, I pay attention to the details.”

If you’re a student, this is probably a familiar scenario. Many academic institutions require this format for submitting papers. Even if you’re not a student, knowing how to add this touch to your document can come in handy in the professional world. It’s a small, simple step that can make a big difference in how your document is received.

How to add Page Numbers and Last Names in Microsoft Word

The following steps will show you how to insert page numbers and your last name into the header of a Microsoft Word document.

Step 1: Open the header section

Double-click at the top of the page to open the header section.

Once you double-click, the header section will become editable. You’ll notice that the rest of the document is greyed out, indicating that you’re now working in the header section.

Step 2: Insert page numbers

Go to the “Insert” tab and click on “Page Number.”

After clicking on “Page Number,” a drop-down menu will appear with different page number options. You can choose where to position the numbers: at the top of the page, at the bottom, or in the margins.

Step 3: Type your last name

Before or after the page number, type your last name.

After inserting the page number, simply type your last name, and it will appear next to the page number. You can format the text (font size, style, etc.) to match the rest of your document.


ProfessionalismHaving a consistent header with your last name and page number gives your document a professional appearance.
Easy ReferenceIn printed documents, headers help keep pages organized and make it easier to sort and reference information.
Academic StandardsMany academic institutions require this format for papers, so it’s a useful skill for students to learn.


Can Be DistractingIf not formatted correctly, headers can be distracting and take away from the content of the document.
Limited CustomizationHeaders can sometimes limit how much space you have on a page for your actual content.
Possible Formatting IssuesIncorrectly adding headers can sometimes cause formatting issues in the rest of the document.

Additional Information

When it comes to adding page numbers and last names to a Microsoft Word document, there are a few additional tips that can help streamline the process. First, if you’re working with a document that has a title page, you might want to start the page numbering on the second page. Microsoft Word allows you to do this by selecting the “Different First Page” option in the header tools.

Additionally, if your document is divided into sections, you can choose to have different headers for each section, or you can link them so the header is consistent throughout. This can be particularly useful for longer documents that have various chapters or sections.

It’s also important to mention that you can insert page numbers into the footer instead of the header if that’s more appropriate for your document’s layout. The process is virtually the same, just double-click on the bottom of the page to open the footer section.

Lastly, remember to save your document after adding the headers to avoid losing any changes. It’s always a good idea to preview your document in “Print Layout” view to ensure that your headers look exactly how you want them before printing or submitting your document.


  1. Open the header section by double-clicking at the top of a page.
  2. Insert page numbers by going to the “Insert” tab and selecting “Page Number.”
  3. Type your last name next to the page number in the header section.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start page numbering on a different page?

You can start page numbering on a different page by going to the “Page Number” menu, selecting “Format Page Numbers,” and then choosing where to start the numbering.

Can I add my last name and page number to the footer instead of the header?

Yes, you can add your last name and page number to the footer by double-clicking on the bottom of the page and following the same steps.

What if I don’t want a header on the first page?

You can select the “Different First Page” option in the header tools to have a unique header or no header on the first page.

How do I make sure my header doesn’t interfere with my document’s content?

Make sure to format your header correctly, adjusting the font size and the distance from the top of the page to ensure it doesn’t overlap with your content.

Will adding a header change the formatting of my document?

It shouldn’t, but always preview your document after adding a header to ensure everything looks correct.


Mastering the art of adding page numbers and last names to your Microsoft Word documents is a small yet significant step in ensuring your work stands out for its professionalism. It’s a skill that will serve you well in both academic and professional settings, and once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s as easy as pie. Remember to pay attention to the little details, as they can make a big impression.

So next time you’re wrapping up that all-important report or essay, don’t forget to add this finishing touch. Your future self will thank you when you’re not frantically trying to reassemble a shuffled stack of pages. Now, go forth and format with confidence!

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