General information about headers and footers in Word

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SUMMARY

This article addresses what headers and footers are, how they affect margin settings, how to position them, how to create them, and what different types of headers and footers exist.

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What Are Headers and Footers?

A header or footer is text or graphics that is usually printed at the top or bottom of every page in a document. A header is printed in the top margin; a footer is printed in the bottom margin.

Headers and footers can be as simple as the document title and a page number, but you can create headers and footers that contain graphics, multiple paragraphs, and fields. You can specify a different header or footer for odd and even pages or use a different header or footer for the first page of a section or document. If you divide a document into sections, you can use different headers and footers in each section. For example, you might want the header for each section to reflect the title of that section.

How to Add or Remove Headers and Footers

To create a header or footer, follow these steps:
  1. On the View menu, click Header and Footer. Word displays the Header and Footer toolbar and switches to print layout view.
  2. To switch between the header and footer, click the Switch Between Header and Footer button on the Header and Footer toolbar.
A non-printing dashed line encloses the header and footer areas. Text and graphics in the document are visible, but dimmed. To display or hide the document text, click the Show/Hide Document Text button on the Header and Footer toolbar.

You can type and format text in the header or footer area the same way you do in the main document. After you have created your header or footer, click Close on the Header and Footer toolbar to return to the main part of the document. In print layout view (on the View menu, click Print Layout), the headers and footers are visible but appear dimmed.

To edit an existing header or footer, either click Header and Footer on the View menu, or, in print layout view, double-click a dimmed header or footer to switch quickly to the header or footer.

To delete a header or footer, follow these steps:
  1. Position the insertion point somewhere in the main text area of the document.
  2. On the View menu, click Header and Footer.
  3. Select the header or footer information you want to delete, and then press DELETE or BACKSPACE on the keyboard.
  4. To return to the document, click Close on the Header and Footer toolbar, or double-click in the main text area of the document.

How Headers and Footers Affect Margin Settings

Word prints headers and footers in the top and bottom margins. If the header or footer is too large to fit in the margin, Word adjusts the top and bottom margin to accommodate the header or footer. That is, if the header or footer becomes too large vertically to fit in the margin, it starts expanding downward (for the header) and upward (for the footer), reducing the amount of text that can be displayed in the body of the document.

To prevent Word from moving the main document text (downward or upward) when the header or footer gets too large to fit in the margin, follow these steps:
  1. On the File menu, click Page Setup.
  2. Click the Margins tab.
  3. Type a hyphen (-) before the Top or Bottom margin setting.
NOTE: If the header or footer is too large, it may overwrite (superimpose) the main document text.

How to Position Headers and Footers

You may want to change the position of headers and footers. You can change the horizontal position by doing the following:
  • Centering the header or footer between the left and right margins.
  • Aligning it with the left or right margin.
  • Running the header or footer text into the left or right margin.
The header and footer areas have two preset tab stops: centered between the default left and right margins (3 inches), and right aligned at the default right margin (6 inches). These tab stops make it easy to center a chapter title or place the page number flush with the right margin. If you change the margins of the document, you may want to adjust these tab stops.

To adjust the horizontal position of information inside a header or footer, follow these steps:
  1. On the View menu, click Header and Footer.
  2. On the Header and Footer toolbar, click the Show Next and Show Previous buttons to find the header or footer that you want to adjust.
  3. To position the header or footer, do one or more of the following:
    • To create left-aligned text in a header or footer, type the text. The starting position for the insertion point is left aligned with the left margin of the document.
    • To create center-aligned text in a header or footer, press the TAB key once to advance the insertion point to the center-aligned tab, and type the text. The text you type will be centered on the tab.
    • To create right-aligned text in a header or footer, press the TAB key one more time to advance the insertion point to the right-aligned tab, and type the text.
    • To create a header or footer that runs into the left or right margins, you can set negative indents as follows:
    1. On the Format menu, click Paragraph.
    2. Click the Indents and Spacing tab.
    3. Type a negative number for the left and/or right indentation. For example, if you want the left-aligned text in the header to start 0.5 inches into the left margin, type -.5 for the left indentation. A negative left indentation moves text into the left margin, whereas a negative right indentation moves text to the right, into the right margin.
  4. To make additional adjustments to the alignment, use the alignment buttons on the Formatting toolbar, set different tab stops on the ruler, or drag the indent markers on the ruler.
You can change the vertical position by adjusting the header or footer starting distance from the top or bottom edge of the page. You can also adjust the amount of space between the header or footer and the text in the main document. To perform these adjustments, follow these steps:
  1. Position the insertion point in the specific area in the document that contains the header or footer that you want to adjust.
  2. On the File menu, click Page Setup and then click the Margins tab.
    • To change the distance from the edge of page to the header or footer, change the From Edge setting. The default setting is 0.5-inch. Increasing the setting moves the entire header or footer closer to the center of the document. Decreasing the setting moves the entire header or footer closer to the edge of the page.
    • To change the distance between the document text and a header or footer, change the Top and Bottom margin settings. Increasing the top margin moves the document text farther down on the page, while leaving the header in the same location. Decreasing the top margin moves the text of the document farther up on the page, while leaving the header in the same location. The same is true for the bottom margin and the footer.
  3. To return to the document, click OK.

Different Types of Headers and Footers

First Page Headers and Footers:

To create a different header or footer for the first page of a document or section, follow these steps:
  1. Position the insertion point on the first page of the document or section, and then click Header and Footer on the View menu.
  2. On the Header and Footer toolbar, click the Page Setup button.
  3. Click the Layout tab.
  4. Under Headers and footers, select the Different first page check box, and then click OK.
  5. If necessary, click the Show Next or Show Previous button to move to the first page header or first page footer in the document or section. The words "First Page Header" or "First Page Footer" appear in the upper left of the dotted Header or Footer box.
  6. Create the header or footer you want to appear on the first page. If you do not want a header or footer to appear on the first page, leave the header or footer area blank.
  7. Click the Show Next button to move to the (non-first page) header or footer in the document or section. The word "Header" or "Footer" appears in the upper left of the dotted Header or Footer box.
  8. Create the header or footer that you want to appear in the rest of the document or section. If you do not want a header or footer to appear in the rest of the document or section, leave the header or footer area blank.
  9. To return to the document, click Close on the Header and Footer toolbar.

Odd and Even Headers and Footers:

To create different headers and footers on odd and even pages, follow these steps:
  1. On the View menu, click Header and Footer.
  2. On the Header and Footer toolbar, click the Page Setup button.
  3. Click the Layout tab.
  4. Under Headers and footers, select the Different odd and even check box, and click OK. Word applies the option to the entire document.
  5. If necessary, click the Show Next or Show Previous button to move to an even page header or footer. The words "Even Page Header" appear in the upper left of the dotted Header or Footer box.
  6. Create the header or footer that you want to appear in the even pages of the document or section. If you do not want a header or footer to appear in the even pages of the document or section, leave the header or footer area blank.
  7. Click the Show Next or Show Previous button to move to an odd header or footer. The words "Odd Page Header" will appear in the upper left of the dotted Header or Footer box.
  8. Create the header or footer that you want to appear in the odd pages of the document or section. If you do not want a header or footer to appear in the odd pages of the document or section, leave the header or footer area blank.
  9. To return to the document, click Close on the Header and Footer toolbar.
For more information about creating different headers and footers, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type How do I set up different headers and footers in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.

How to Create Different Headers and Footers for Sections of a Document

When you divide a document into sections, Word uses the headers and footers in the first section as the default for every subsequent section. All headers in the document and all footers in the document are initially connected so that their contents are identical. If you change the header in the third section of the document, for example, Word changes all headers in the entire document to match. When headers and footers in the section that contains the insertion point are connected to the previous section, the Same as Previous button on the Header and Footer toolbar is selected, and the words "Same as Previous" appear in the upper right of the dotted Header or Footer box.

If you want to create a different header or footer in one section, you must break the connection with the preceding header or footer by clicking the Same as Previous button on the Header and Footer toolbar. Word then uses the header or footer you create in the current section for all subsequent sections. If you decide that you want to re-establish the connection between the header or footer in the current section and the preceding headers or footers, click the Same as Previous button again. Word replaces the information contained in the current header or footer with the information in the previous header or footer.

Headers and footers from one section are automatically connected to headers and footers from the previous section until you click Same as Previous on the Header and Footer toolbar to turn the setting off. For example, Headers are connected to only the type of header called Header; they are not connected to the type of header called First Page Header. First Page Header is connected only to First Page Header.

The following are the different types of connections between headers and footers in a document:
  • Headers are connected to Headers.
  • Footers are connected to Footers.
  • First Page Headers are connected to First Page Headers.
  • First Page Footers are connected to First Page Footers.
  • Odd Headers are connected to Odd Headers.
  • Odd Footers are connected to Odd Footers.
  • Even Headers are connected to Even Headers.
  • Even Footers are connected to Even Footers.
To create a different header or footer for each section in a document, follow these steps:
  1. Position the insertion point in the section with the header or footer that you want to change (disconnect from the previous header or footer).
  2. On the View menu, click Header and Footer.
  3. Click Same as Previous on the Header and Footer toolbar to disconnect headers and footers in the current section from the previous section. The words "Same as Previous" will disappear in the upper-right corner of the Header or Footer box.
  4. Create the header and footer that you want for the current section.

    NOTE: Word also inserts the header and footer in all sections following the current one. To create a different header or footer in the following sections, repeat steps 3 and 4 in each section.
  5. To return to the document, click Close on the Header and Footer toolbar.
To reconnect a header or footer with the preceding header or footer, follow these steps:
  1. Position the insertion point in the section with the header or footer that you want to connect to the preceding header or footer.
  2. On the View menu, click Header and Footer.
  3. On the Header and Footer toolbar, click Same as Previous.

    NOTE: When Word asks you to confirm that you want to delete the current header or footer and connect to the preceding header or footer, click Yes. The preceding header or footer is repeated in the current section.
  4. To return to the document, click Close on the Header and Footer toolbar.
For more information about headers and footers, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type header (or footer) in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.

REFERENCES

For additional information about headers and footers, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
189175 WD2000: Incorrect SectionPages or NumPages Field When Printed

207772 WD2000: How to Create a Template with Different First Page or Different Odd and Even Headers and Footers

Properties

Article ID: 211432 - Last Review: January 23, 2007 - Revision: 3.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbinfo kblayout KB211432

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