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Steps in Setting Roman and Arabic Numbers in a Document Using Ms Word 2003

Updated on January 26, 2012

Illustrations showing steps in setting Arabic and Roman Numbers in MS Word, 2003 Document

Assigning Roman and Arabic Numbers in a MS Word Document

There are a number of steps involved in assigning Roman and Arabic numbers in a MS Word document. A many find it rather tricky. Indeed, it can prove to be very tricky!. Microsoft Word 2003 has been used in this paper to outline the steps involved. Illustrations have been used to give a vivid picture. You will find it quite easy and useful.

Setting Arabic Numbers

  1. In your cover page, insert a cursor,
  2. Go to INSERT Menu and click page break,
  3. Select NEXT PAGE check box,
  4. Click OK (see Figure 1),
  5. Go to INSERT Menu again
  6. Click insert page number(See Figure 2),
  7. Click Format,
  8. Chose Arabic number Format,
  9. Tick Start at 1 and
  10. Then click OK (See Figure 3).

With these steps, we are done with fixing Arabic numbers in the main document (Body).

Setting Roman Numbers in Preliminary Pages

Preliminary pages, in a number of academic papers writing styles, require Roman numbering (ii,iii,iii, etc). The steps are as outlined:

Place the Cursor at Cover page (which now bears Arabic number 1). Change the Arabic to Roman by:

  1. Clicking INSERT Menu - then click page numbers
  2. Uncheck check box: show page number on the first page (since it is a cover page)
  3. Proceed to FORMAT
  4. Select ROMAN Numbers
  5. Click Start at Roman i
  6. Click OK
  7. Now Enter a page break (under Insert Menu) to see ROMAN ii.

NB. The preliminary pages are assigned ROMAN Numbers. But cover page, which is logically Roman page i is not shown (as a matter of rule).


With these steps, your document now bears both Roman numerals (in preliminary pages) and Arabic (in the main document). Your problem of having to prepare two documents, one bearing preliminary Roman numbers and another Main Document with Arabic numbers is solved. For word 2007, the steps are different.


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