How to Add Slide Numbers to a PowerPoint Presentation

By Carol Finch

Learn how to add numbers to PowerPoint slides. Find out how to choose when numbering starts and how to format and move numbers on the slide.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2003

PowerPoint inserts slide numbers via its Header and Footer menu, but their position on a slide depends on the template you're using. Some templates place numbers in the footer area; others are part of the design and appear elsewhere on the slide. To change default numbering after you've enabled it, you can set a different start number, customize number style or move the number box to change its position.

Add Slide Numbers

Step 1

Open the Insert tab and select the Slide Number button to open the Header and Footer menu.

Step 2

Select Slide Number to add numbers to slides.

Select Slide and check the Slide Number box. You can see where the number will appear on the slide in the Preview pane. Select Don't show on title slide if you don't want a number to appear on this slide. Select Apply to add a number to just this slide or Apply to All to add numbers to all slides in the presentation.


  • To remove slide numbers or to edit the slides on which they appear, go back to the Header and Footer menu and change your selections.
  • PowerPoint inserts numberson notes and handout pages by default, so you don't need to add them.  To remove numbers from these pages, select Notes and Handouts in the Header and Footer menu and uncheck the Page Number box.

Set a Different Start Number

Step 1

Select Custom Slide Size to customize numbering on slides.

If you don't want your numbering to start at 1, open the Design tab and select Slide Size in the Customize area. Select Custom Slide Size.

Step 2

Choose a start number for slides.

Change the counter in the Number slides from box to the first number you want to use on the presentation. Select OK to apply the change.

Change the Format of Slide Numbers

Step 1

Select the text box and highlight the slide number.

Select the number in the Footer area and highlight it.

Step 2

Use Font tools to format the slide number.

Open the Home tab and use the tools in the Font section to change the number's font, size and color, or to add effects such as bold or italic.

Reposition Slide Numbers

To change the placement of numbers on the slide, edit the master template.

Step 1

Select Slide Master to open the presentation's master copy.

Open the View tab and select Slide Master.

Step 2

Select the first slide in the master list.

Select the first slide in the list to open it on the screen.

Step 3

Drag the cross cursor to move the number box.

Select the number to enable its text box. Hold your mouse over a line until the cursor turns into a cross. Drag the box to its new position.

Step 4

Select Close Master View to return to the presentation.

Select Close Master View to return to the presentation.


  • Reposition the number on the top-level master slide to ensure that the change applies to all slides. If you move the number on a slide further down the list, it will only change on that slide.
  • If you change the slide template, the position of numbers may also change. To see where numbers will go, open the Design tab, go to the template you're thinking of using and hover your mouse over it. Look at the preview on the slide to see the number position for that design.
  • You can also use Slide Master view to customize PowerPoint templates and save them.