How to Use Different Headers and Footers in One Word Document

Did you know that you can use different headers and footers in a Word document? We’ll show you how on Windows, Mac, and online.

Headers and footers are ideal spots for page numbers, document titles, and even your company logo. By default, the header and footer on each page are the same in Microsoft Word. But it doesn’t have to be.

Maybe you want these areas to be slightly different in your document. You might want the page numbers to alternate left and right on every other page. Or you may have a cover page for the first page and don’t want to use a header or footer at all.

The process is the same in Word on Windows and Mac, but a bit different in Word on the web. So, we’ll start with how to set up different headers and footers in your Word document on your desktop.

Headers and Footers in Word Desktop

Open your Word document on Windows or Mac and do the following to assign your headers and footers.

  1. Double-click the header or footer area of a page.
  2. In the Options section of the ribbon, check the box for Different Odd & Even Pages, Different First Page, or both.
  3. You’ll see the indicator on the left for Header or Footer change to Odd/Even/First Page Header or Odd/Even/First Page Footer.
  4. Type in the header or footer you want for that page. Then go to the next page and type in the header or footer there.

Different headers and footers in Word desktop

Click Close Header & Footer on the right side of the ribbon or double-click in the document body to return to your document editing.

You can see your headers and footers in your document while you work on it. They simply appear dimmed.

Header in a Word document

Headers and Footers in Word on the Web

Sign in to your Microsoft account in Word on the web and open your document. Then, follow these steps to insert your headers and footers.

  1. Go to the Insert tab and click Header & Footer.Insert Header and Footer in Word on the web
  2. On the right side of the document, click the Options drop-down arrow.
  3. Select how you’d like to set up the headers and footers. You can pick from Different First Page, Different Even & Odd Pages, or Different First, Even & Odd Pages.Different headers and footers in Word on the web
  4. You’ll then see the header and footer areas with tabs for First, Even, and Odd Pages, depending on the option you selected above.
  5. Type in the header or footer what you want for the first, even, or odd pages, select the next tab and type what you’d like for those pages.

Headers even and odd pages in Word on the web

Click inside the gray area of the page when you finish and want to resume working on the body of your document.

View Your Headers and Footers in Word Online

Once you go back to editing your document, you won’t see the headers and footers. This gives you a focused view of your document body. If you’d like to see your document with the headers and footers, go to the View tab and click Reading View.

View, Reading View

You can then view your document’s headers and footers. To exit Reading View, click Edit Document > Edit and you’ll return to the main editing screen.

Reading View, header

Make Use of Those Headers and Footers in Word

Whatever you find most helpful in your headers and footers, take advantage of the handy feature. And remember that you have flexibility like using different ones in the same Word document.

For related Microsoft Word how-tos, check out how to work with page numbers or how to insert footnotes and endnotes.

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