This tutorial shows how to insert headers and footers in Microsoft Word. We’ll also look at how to edit and delete existing headers and footers.
If you want to insert page numbers in headers or footers, please see “How to Add Page Numbers in Microsoft Word.”
If you want to insert headers or footers in specific chapters or sections, please see “How to Insert Headers and Footers on Specific Pages in Microsoft Word (PC & Mac).”
This tutorial is available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 100 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365. These steps will also work in Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010. However, your interface may look slightly different in those earlier versions of the software.
Please note that Word provides many ways to work with headers and footers. Therefore, this tutorial is limited to the steps I believe will be the most useful for the majority of people.
How to Insert Headers and Footers in Microsoft Word
- Select the Insert tab in the ribbon.
- Select the Header or Footer button in the Header & Footer group.
- Select a built-in style from the drop-down menu.
After you select a style, Word will automatically switch from the Insert tab to the Header & Footer tab. This tab only appears when you are working with headers or footers.
- Select the placeholder text, and then type your header or footer information over the placeholder text.
- (Optional) Select Different First Page in the Options group to create a different header or footer or no header or footer on the first page.
5.a. Type the information into the First Page Header space. You can also select the Header or Footer button to select a built-in style (see figure 3).
5.b. Leave the space blank if you don’t want a header or footer on the first page.
- (Optional) Select Different Odd & Even Pages in the Options group to create different headers or footers on odd and even pages.
6.a. Select the Next and Previous buttons in the Navigation group to toggle between odd and even pages.
6.b. Type the information into the Odd Page Header and Even Page Header spaces. You can also select the Header or Footer buttons to choose different built-in styles for odd and even pages (see figure 3).
- (Optional) Enter new numbers into the Header from Top and Footer from Bottom text boxes in the Position group to customize the amount of space above the header or below the footer.
Pro Tip: Tabs for Headers and Footers
Tabs placed on the ruler while working on headers or footers won’t appear on the ruler for the body content after you close the Header & Footer tab.
- Select the Close Header & Footer button when you are finished.
The Header & Footer tab will no longer be visible.
How to Edit Headers and Footers in Microsoft Word
- Double-click the header or footer to open the Header & Footer tab. Alternatively, you can right-click the header or footer and select the Edit Header or Edit Footer button.
- The Header & Footer tab will open, and your cursor will automatically move into the header or footer space where you can make adjustments, as necessary.
How to Delete Headers and Footers in Microsoft Word
- Double-click the header or footer you want to delete (i.e., First Page, Odd Pages, or Even Pages). Alternatively, you can right-click the header or footer and select the Edit Header or Edit Footer button (see figure 11).
- Select the Header or Footer button in the Header & Footer tab. (Note that these buttons are in a different location in the Header & Footer tab than in the Insert tab.)
- Select Remove Header or Remove Footer from the drop-down menu.
This method will only delete the type of header or footer that you selected. For example, if your document has different headers on odd and even pages and you selected a header on an odd page, only the odd page headers will be deleted. However, if your document has the same header on every page, all the headers will be removed.
Updated January 02, 2022