Microsoft Word: How to insert different headers and footers in Word

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Q. I've created a Word document with multiple chapters, and I want to insert different headers and footers for each chapter. However, each time I create a new header, it changes my previous headers. What's the solution to creating different headers?

A. As a default in Word, all subsequent headers and footers link to the previous page's header and footer. To insert a new header or footer without altering the one you've already inserted, navigate to the bottom of the last page before your new header or footer, and from the Layout tab (or the Page Layout tab) select Breaks, Next Page as pictured below. This action will create a section break enabling you to apply different attributes (such as headers and footers, margin settings, page sizes, orientations, etc.) to one section of the document without affecting other sections.

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On the next page after the break, navigate to the header or footer area and double-click that area to make it editable (referred to as Design mode); this action also displays the header and footer toolbars. Next, select the existing header or footer and click the Link to Previous option (as circled below) to break the header or footer connection.

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Once the link is broken, you can edit or change the new section's header or footer without affecting your previous headers or footers. Continue to insert Next Page breaks and then break the link connections for each subsequent chapter where you want different headers or footers to appear.


About the author

J. Carlton Collins (carlton@asaresearch.com) is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2007 through 2016 versions, unless otherwise specified.

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