How to Change Where Slide Numbers Start in PowerPoint 2010

PowerPoint allows you to easily add slide numbers to your presentations. By default, the slide numbers start counting from 1 on the first slide. However, you may want the slide numbers to start counting from a different number instead. Here’s how to change where slide numbers start in PowerPoint 2010.

Access Custom Slide Size Settings

To change where slide numbers begin, you first need to access the custom slide size settings:

  1. Go to the Design tab
  2. Click on Slide Size
  3. Select Custom Slide Size from the dropdown menu

This will open up the custom slide size dialog box.

Change Starting Slide Number

In the custom slide size dialog box:

  1. Locate the Number slides from: setting
  2. Change the number to what you want the first slide number to be
    • For example, enter “3” if you want the slide numbers to start at 3 instead of 1

Custom slide size settings

You can start the slide numbering from any number you want. Some common reasons to start from a number other than 1:

  • You have additional title or section divider slides you don’t want numbered
  • The presentation is one part of a larger presentation
  • You want slide numbers to continue sequentially from a previous presentation

Apply Updated Slide Numbering

Once you’ve entered the number you want to start from, click OK to apply the new slide numbering.

Now when you insert slide numbers, the numbering will start from the custom number rather than 1.

Insert Slide Numbers

To actually add slide numbers after updating the starting number:

  1. Go to the Insert tab
  2. Click Slide Number
  3. Select the Slide number checkbox
  4. Click Apply

Slide numbers will now appear on all slides, starting from the custom number you set.

Insert slide numbers

Formatting Slide Numbers

Once slide numbers are inserted, you can format them by:

  • Changing font style and size
  • Applying custom colors
  • Adding effects like shadow or 3D

To format, select the slide number box and use the options on the Home tab.

Hide Slide Numbers on Title Slide

You can hide the slide number on the first title slide:

  1. After inserting slide numbers, go back to Insert > Header & Footer
  2. On the Slide tab, check the Don’t show on title slide box
  3. Click Apply to All

This will remove slide numbers only from the first slide.

Advanced Slide Number Tips

Here are some additional tips for working with slide numbers:

Number Individual Slides

To number just specific slides, insert the slide number on those slides only. The rest will not be numbered.

Update Numbers Across Presentations

If working on multiple presentations, make sure to continuously update the starting number to keep slide numbers sequential.

Use Master Slide

Format slide number style on the master slide to automatically apply to all slides.

Add Total Slide Count

Insert the total number of slides (e.g. Slide 2 of 10) using {slidenumber}/{total slides} code.


If slide numbers ever stop showing properly, go to View > Master > Slide Master and select the slide number placeholder to reset formatting.

Working with slide numbers in PowerPoint is easy once you know how to access the numbering settings. By changing the starting number, you can customize slide numbering to suit your presentation needs.