Customize page numbers on a PDF using Adobe Acrobat 9, X, or XI

Acrobat page # customization(There are new instructions on using Acrobat DC.)

When your file doesn’t start on page 1, it is helpful to have the PDF show you the absolute page numbering, not the relative page number in that file. It’s particularly helpful for indexing and other page-number-sensitive markup that editors do.

Here’s one way to do it. (A video showing X and XI follows.)

You need the full Acrobat program to customize the page numbering on a PDF.

  • In Acrobat Pro 9, the setting is under Advanced > Document Processing > Number Pages.
  • In Acrobat Pro XI, open the Pages Thumbnails pane and right-click on one of the page thumbnails, or click the Options icon at the top of the pane (it looks like a bullet list). Select Number Pages… from the menu that pops up.

Acrobat Pro9 page # setting

Type the number of the first page in the “Start:” field.Acrobat Pro9 page # setting box


In the X and XI versions, it works as in this video tutorial.

In the Windows version of Acrobat, look under View > Page Navigation > Page menu item. On Windows, this shortcut is “Ctrl + Shift + N”; on Mac OS, it is “Cmd + Shift + N”. According to

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