Customize Page Numbers on a PDF 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. Such customization is particularly helpful for indexing and other page-number-sensitive markup that editors do. If the PDF is the final product (such as an ebook), renumbering is also a service to readers.

Here’s one way to do it (in pictures):

  1. Open the pages panel on the left side. Right click a page to open the menu shown, then click Page Labels.thumbnails menu, Acrobat DC
  2. Enter the page number you want it to start at in the last field (shown). Note that you can renumber all pages, from the start, or just a few pages. Pages can also be numbered in Roman or Arabic numerals, or labelled alphabetically. You can even add a chapter prefix.renumbering pages dialog, Acrobat DC
  3. See the renumbered pages in the bar across the top of the window, and in the numbering below the thumbnails.

renumbered PDF pages example, Acrobat DC


*You need the full Acrobat program to customize the page numbering on a PDF. The Reader version does not have this function.

See this earlier post for instructions on using Acrobat 9, X, or XI to customize PDF page numbers.