Top 2 Solutions to Add Custom Page Numbers to PDF Documents

“Hi, at my workplace, we submit our reports as PDF files with proper cover and index page. The problem is unless the page numbering starts from the cover page, the whole document numbering is out of order. Due to this, the page numbers from the index table take readers to the wrong page. So, is there any way by which I can exclude the cover and index pages & still maintain the proper order? In short, can I add custom page numbers to PDF documents?”

For such cases, you can use the little-known feature of Adobe Acrobat Pro that is custom page numbering. Of course, you must have the Adobe Acrobat Pro version in order to perform the numbering task. The alternate solution is to go for a comprehensive third-party solution since the online tools cannot be trusted with important documents.

In this article, we will discuss the top two software solutions to add custom page numbers to PDF files. The discussed solution can also be used to add bates to PDF files for legal professionals.

How is Custom PDF Page Numbering Useful?

Numbering the pages as per your convenience may seem like a small issue. But professionally, it holds high value. Especially for large documents, it’s frustrating when the numbering is off order. Custom PDF Page numbers not only help in proper management of documents but makes retrieving information from hundreds of pages an effortless task.

This is especially useful when users need to combine multiple files into a single PDF. So, it not only reduces the time taken to fetch data but makes the documents far more professional and less confusing.

Add Custom Page Numbers to PDF using Adobe Acrobat Pro

Perform the given procedure in perfect order to achieve the intended results:

    1. Launch the Adobe Acrobat Pro application on your system
    2. Browse and Open the PDF document
    3. Now, select Advanced >> Document Processing >> Number pages option

    1. Page Numbering window will open as shown below:

    1. Choose from different Page Numbering options(like i, ii, iii & a, b, c) for the required Page range
    2. Click OK and the selected page range will display at top of the screen(eg. I, ii). Also, the first page of the actual document (different from page range) will display number 1 at top of the PDF file

    1. Now, go to Document >> Header & Footer >> Add. The Update header & Footer window will be shown.
    2. Click on any of the following text boxes and then select Insert Page Number button: Left Header, Center Header, Right Header, Left Footer, Center Footer, Right Footer

This will make the added page number appear on the document as per the selected box.

Note: You can also customize the date and page number by clicking on Page Number and Date Format…

    1. Click on Page Range options… to select the specific page for the above numbering to begin

  1. Save the settings to add custom page numbers to PDF documents.


  • The process is quite confusing for normal users. You must execute the steps in proper order to avail intended results.
  • Most Importantly, you MUST have the full version of Adobe Acrobat Pro. This software is quite pricey considering it can only be purchased on a subscription basis.
  • Also, you have to perform these steps for multiple documents one at a time. You cannot just apply the same numbering settings to all documents at once.

Add Custom Page Numbers to PDF using PDF Page Numberer

To overcome all the above limitations, professionals Download PDF Page Numberer as it is the most trusted solution. This tool allows users to add page numbers with multiple formatting options such as prefix, suffix, starting number, etc. You can even choose the font size and color along with number positioning. The software is capable to perform numbering for multiple PDF file series without the need of any PDF viewer.

1. Launch the downloaded software

2. To browse PDFs click on the Add file(s)/ Add Folder(s). Then you can select whether you want to save or print the PDF with page numbers. Click ‘Next >’.

3. Select whether you want to number PDF pages only page-wise (01, 02, 03..) or both files-pages (01-01, 01-02, 01-03,…). Do all the font settings according to your need.

4. You can also do the advanced settings. Preview changes made and Generate the page numbers on the selected document.

Summing Up

The article contains the best two methods by which one can add custom page numbers to PDF files. Due to some limitations and high price, users generally prefer Page Numberer over the Adobe Acrobat Pro. It works to insert bates number on multiple Adobe PDF documents at once. A demo version of the tool is also available for users to check its complete working.