How to Insert Different Headers on Pages in Microsoft Word

Written by deanne lachner
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How to Insert Different Headers on Pages in Microsoft Word
A collection of short stories may have changing headers as the authors and story titles change. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

The header area at the top of a document page contains information such as author, title, date and page number. Enter the header information once and the information repeats from page to page. Sometimes your document header needs to change periodically, such as in a book that has chapter titles in the headers. Microsoft Word gives you the ability to change a header at a specific location in the document without affecting the header information prior to that location.

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    Insert Header on Page One

  1. 1

    Double-click at the top of document page one. This opens the header for editing.

  2. 2

    Type in the header information you want, such as a report title and date.

  3. 3

    Double-click outside the header area to close header editing. The header information appears light grey to distinguish the header text from text on the main document page.

    Insert Header on Subsequent Pages

  1. 1

    Place your cursor anywhere on the page before the page on which you want your first header. Click the "Page Layout" tab at the top of the Word Ribbon.

  2. 2

    Click the arrow next to "Breaks" in the "Page Setup" portion of the Ribbon. Scroll down and select "Next Page" on the drop-down menu.

  3. 3

    Place your cursor on the next page. Select the "Insert" tab then click "Header" in the "Header & Footer" portion of the Ribbon.

  4. 4

    Select "Edit Header" near the bottom of the drop-down menu. Click the "Link to Previous" icon, which will show up as yellow-gold to show that it is enabled, to turn it off.

  5. 5

    Insert the header information you wish to begin on this page. Because you disabled "Link to Previous" the pages before this will not change, meaning that they will not have a header inserted.

    Change the Header

  1. 1

    Insert a section break on the page before you wish to change the header information. For example, your report's introduction header may contain your the title "Introduction" on pages two through five. On page six you want to change the header to "Chapter One." Insert the section break on page five by clicking the "Page Layout" tab then selecting "Breaks" and scrolling down to choose "Next Page."

  2. 2

    Move your cursor to the page on which you want the new header information. Double-click in the header area of the page to enable editing. Deselect "Link to Previous" by clicking the icon in the "Navigation" section of the Ribbon that opens when you open the header.

  3. 3

    Enter your new header information. Double-click on the main portion of the document page to close the header for editing. The change you made will show up on this and subsequent pages but will not affect the headers prior to this page.

  4. 4

    Change the header at any point by following the same steps: set a section break, move to the next page, double-click the header area, deselect "Link to Previous" and insert the new header information.

Tips and warnings

  • Follow the same process to change the footer information. Double-click the bottom of the page to open the footer for editing.
  • Choose a header template from Word by selecting one of the preformatted headers in the drop-down menu that you see after clicking "Insert" and then "Header."
  • Don't make your header too "busy" with lots of text. Keep it simple or it will distract the reader from the page.

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