I am writing my bachelors thesis and I'm unsure whether to put the total page count into the footer. The options I consider are:

page # of ##

page #


where # is the page's number and ## is the total page count.

While I find the first option nice for small documents where a page might get lost, I think it's unnecessary for a large and bound document.

The second alternative might be pretty but the reader should be able to infer the additional information compared to option three.

The last option is common in books and journals. Is there a significant difference to a thesis that justifies different styles?

I am pretty much free in the layout of my document and don't have to follow any styleguides.

Which style of page numbering should I use?

  • 3
    I don't think there is any objective way to discern between these styles. And are you sure worrying about such details is a good use of your, no doubt, limited and precious time? Finally, your questions are not really about academia, so I'm flagging your post. – 101010111100 Dec 14 '16 at 12:36
  • @101010111100 where do think this question would belong? I think it is possible to enumerate pros and cons of these styles. I'd agree that an objective decision is probably not possible. – Benjamin Dec 14 '16 at 12:53
  • I don't know. Your questions are off-topic on all SE communities I know (but then again, I don't visit other SE communities that much). – 101010111100 Dec 14 '16 at 13:01
  • 1
    Have you checked your style guide. They often say where and how page numbering should be done. For example, I am pretty sure APA is top right, # starting at the title page, but no number on the title page. – StrongBad Dec 14 '16 at 14:00
  • 1
    @101010111100 I think style question are on topic for the reasons given in meta.academia.stackexchange.com/questions/3457/… – StrongBad Dec 14 '16 at 14:04

You basically answered yourself.

  • Option 1: not necessary for bound documents.
  • Option 2: doesn't add much with respect to 3.

So keep the standard approach 3. There are not sufficient motivations to justify putting more ink on those pages.

As the quote says, a designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

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