How to Add Slide Numbers in Microsoft PowerPoint

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When you present a PowerPoint presentation, it’s easy to lose track of the slide you’re currently on – especially if it’s a large slide. To help you, you can add slide numbers in PowerPoint so you know where you are.

Of course, you can also manually add slide numbers to each of your slides using text boxes. This is not an option we recommend, as any changes you make (for example, adding new slides) would require manually updating the slide numbers.

Instead, you can add slide numbers that automatically update on all your slides, including hidden slides. By default, these slide numbers appear in the footer of your slide, but you can move and format your slide numbers by editing the “Slide Master” of your presentation.

Adding page numbers to slides and notes

When you add up the slide numbers, all slides are included in the slide count, including hidden slides. If you print notes, the page numbers are included.

  • On the Insert tab, click the Header and footer button Header and footer.
  • On the Slide tab, in the Header and Footer box, check the Slide Number box, then in the Start With box, type the page number you want to start with on the first slide.
  • Click Apply to All.

Adding slide numbers to the footer

You can use automatic placement and numbering by using the Header and Footer option on the Paste tab.

Navigate to Insert > Header and Footer. Check the box to insert the slide number. You can also insert text in the footer or leave the footer information off the title slides. You can also add an automatic or fixed date.

Set your preferred settings and click Apply (for the current slide only) or Apply to All (for the entire presentation).

The only disadvantage of this method is that you don’t have much control over the appearance of the page numbers. They only appear in the footer with minimal style adjustments. You can click on the number itself to adjust the size, font or weight.

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Best Practices

In reality, the numbering of your slides is not much different from the numbering of the pages of a book. Just like a book, slide numbers in PowerPoint help you keep your viewers in the right place.

Suppose you print the slides for your viewers, they can follow them and make notes about the printouts. If they lose their place, they should be able to easily see where they are. Slide numbers help with this.

This is useful in online courses where you can provide learners with a copy of the slides in PDF or print format.

However, if you also have documents that are part of your slides, slide numbering can be very useful for your audience so that they do not lose their place.


Adding slide numbers in PowerPoint is at first glance quite simple. In fact, PowerPoint offers a multitude of ways to add page numbers to your slides; however, some of these methods do not always work. So if you’re at the end of your rope and can’t get those annoying numbers to appear on your slides, here’s how to add slide numbers in PowerPoint.

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