How to add page numbers to a PDF file using Acrobat X or XI

Learn how to add page numbers to PDF documents using Acrobat X or XI.

By March 23, 2012


In this tutorial, learn how to add page numbers to PDF documents using Acrobat X or XI.

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How to add page numbers to a PDF file using Acrobat X or XI

Donna BakerMarch 23, 2012

Acrobat remembers numbers for all the pages in your file. In the Page Thumbnails pane, click Page 1 to see the notation (1 of 23) shown in the Page Navigation area. Don’t confuse page numbers assigned to the document's pages with a text number on the page, like a footer.

Let’s add some numbering to the document. Click the Page 1 thumbnail, then press Shift + click the Page 2 thumbnail. In the Document Processing tools, click Number Pages to open the Page Numbering dialog box. We don’t have to specify pages since we selected the thumbnails. Click the Style drop-down arrow and select the lowercase Roman numerals. Click OK to close the dialog box. You see the pages show the lowercase numbers below their thumbnails. The number field in the Page Navigation tools shows the page number in lowercase numeral style, while the page and total show in brackets as before.

Now let’s add basic numbering to the rest of the document. Click the Options button on the Page Thumbnails panel and click Number Pages to open the Page Numbering dialog box. This time we have to specify pages. Click the From: field and type 3; click the To: field and type 23. Click the Style drop-down arrow and select the basic number style. Click the Start: text field, and type 3 for the Start number since we numbered Pages 1 and 2 earlier. Click OK.

Scroll through the panel to see the numbered thumbnails. Click a thumbnail to show its numbering in the Page Navigation field and display the page in the Document pane.

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Products covered:

Acrobat X ProAcrobat X StandardAcrobat X SuiteAcrobat XI ProAcrobat XI Standard

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Lori Kassuba

1 month ago

Hi Roberta,

This is possible but it’s a rather manual process. You’ll need to number each section separately. Start with section 1 and add a 1- prefix to the number format then repeat the process for each section. You can specify the page range using the Page Range Options link.



1 month ago

I need to be able to number the pages with the same numbering I have in the thumbnail pages…which is sections within a larger documents. For instance 1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 2-2, 2-3, etc. I can number the thumbnails that way, but it doe snot seem that I can use that numbering to actually number the pages the same…

Lori Kassuba

2, 2014-05-28 28, 2014

Hi Jakob,

This tutorial will help you add page numbers to the bottom of your document:



8, 2014-05-27 27, 2014

I was able to add page numbers to my pdf doc, but the numbers only appeared in the thumbnails, not in the doc proper.  What am I missing?
J. s.

donna baker

1, 2014-01-25 25, 2014

Hi Colin -

You’ll need to add a footer to configure and display page numbers when you print the document.



9, 2014-01-23 23, 2014

Yes I can number the pages for viewing but i want the pages to be numbered when printed out

Richard Howarth

1, 2014-01-12 12, 2014

Excellent…! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with beginners, like myself, starting from square one, such assistance is very much appreciated and some day I can do the same and pass this wisdom one to my children and grandchildren. Great job, keepem’ coming…‘the tips and tricks, tutorials, etc., so I can absorb all the knowledge, provided by Adobe, whom I totally ‘adore’...!                          ADOBE is #1

donna baker

11, 2013-09-25 25, 2013

Hi Debbie -

There isn’t any mystery to the process, or hidden settings that should throw you off. Perhaps you could repair your Acrobat installation. On Windows, choose Help > Repair Acrobat Installation and let the program check out its components. Sometimes that’s all you need to get rid of odd issues like this one.


donna baker

11, 2013-09-25 25, 2013

Hi Penney -

Thanks for your comment! There are so many things to learn about Acrobat and PDF, and we cover it all on this site.



1, 2013-09-10 10, 2013

This does not work for me for some reason that I can’t figure out. I am sure I am following the directions correctly. But when I make the changes to the page thumbnails, and then click OK in the dialog box, nothing changes. Is there some obscure setting somewhere that is preventing this? I’ve tried it in several PDFs that I’ve generated and it does not work.


6, 2013-07-13 13, 2013

Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe this amazing site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the information!

donna baker

5, 2012-05-22 22, 2012

Hi Lois -

I’m glad the information helped. I agree that it goes quite quickly—sometimes it’s simpler to watch it a couple of times right through before taking notes.



8, 2012-04-10 10, 2012

This has such useful information. Thank you for spending the time to make this.  It was very fast for me to follow and I had to pause to write down the instructions every few seconds, but it helped.

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