How to Create Different Headers and Footers in the same Word Document

MS Word provides an option to create different headers and footers within the same document. Divide the document into different sections using Section break to achieve this. Then you can assign unique header and footer to each section.

Suppose your document has five chapters and you need to insert unique header and footer details to each section, the below procedure does exactly that.


Divide the document into five separate sections using Section breaks. See below to learn how to insert Section breaks at the end of each chapter to create separate page sections.

1. To insert a section break, on the Page Layout tab, within the group Page Setup, click the drop-down list Breaks.

2. From the Page Breaks drop-down, click Next Page. A section break is inserted at the cursor position.


Tip: If you are unable to view the section breaks after applying them in your document, click ‘Ctrl+Shift+8’.

3.  Similarly, apply section breaks at the end for rest of the chapters as well.

4.  In this step, disconnect the Header/Footer section of the first chapter from the second chapter. To do so, double-click the Header or   Footer section (extreme bottom or top of the page) at the beginning of the second chapter. The Header & Footer Tools >> Design tab gets activated in the Ribbon.

5. Now on the Design tab, within the group Navigation, you can find the Link to Previous being highlighted. This implies that header/footer of the second chapter is linked to the first chapter.


6.  Click Link to Previous to deactivate which  disconnect or de-link the second chapter from the first chapter.

7.  Repeat the above steps for the rest of the chapters. After disconnecting header/footer for all the chapters, you can insert unique header/footer content.

Tip: While header/footer is enabled, you can move from one section break to the next by clicking the Next Section button available within the group Navigation, under menu group Header & Footer Tools >> Design.

About wordknowhowhttp://wordknowhow.comThis blog site was started to help people with Microsoft Word. I use Word a lot at work, and I understand that some features are difficult to use. There were no simplified instructions online to help me use these features. It is for this reason that this site exists; to make your life easier with Word. Feel free to post your comments, queries, suggestions, etc. I will do my best to help you!

24 thoughts on “How to Create Different Headers and Footers in the same Word Document

  1. OK, so I’m clearly doing something wrong. I followed the steps exactly and in Section 2 (which is landscape when Section 2 is portrait) added a different header and footer. That’s fine until I go onto the second page of Section 2 and it gives me the portrait header and footer again. I’ve tried checking and unchecking the Link to Previous button but it still stays the same. It’s so unintuitive that I am at a loss!

  2. Pingback: How to Create Different Headers and Footers in the same Word Document - DrexBlog

  3. People always complain over nothing. You create a new section and have the choice if continuing on with the previous header and/or footer, or you uncheck the link(s) and create a new header and/or footer. It was well explained above and works flawlessly.

    If you can’t follow simple instructions which work then maybe you need a job which doesn’t involve using a computer. MS Office is very reliable, highly featured and simple to use. What more could one ask for?

      • I’m sorry to hear that. When you say your links button… you unchecked (turned off) “Link to Previous” on the Ribbon Bar? It is highlighted in orange when turned on and not highlighted at all when turned off.

  4. Tell me about it. Even when I do that it still says its the same section and the header doesn’t change. You would think that it would be easier to allow the user to change the header each page instead of leaving it the same.

    • Are you for real? You can enter a header by simply double-clicking in the Header region of the page with your mouse. Type what you want and then double-click back on the page. Done!

      If you want to change the header and/or footer at some point in your document then naturally you need to insert a page break to create a new section which will allow a different header/footer. Enter your new header and uncheck the brightly highlighted in orange “Link to previous”. Close the header/footer.

      You can even have a running header which picks up the first heading in a particular “style” on the page and uses that as the header, or a part of the header. I use a macro to do this for me.

  5. Pingback: Anonymous

    • This is all well and good if you have a few tables that you are creating on the fly, but if you are in my situation where you have over 100 computer-generated RTF tables, that need to be inserted, one after another, into a single report appendix, the method outlined above is absurdly tedious and time consuming. It should be possible to pull mutiple docs into a single doc without altering the headers and footers that each contains individually; but, as far as I can see, it is not possible.

      • Could not get you completely…it is fairly simple to create single header and footer , it’s one time task….but if you want to create header and footer 100 different h&f for 100 pages, then that would be definitely tedious

      • The first thing that came to mind when I just read your post would be to use running headers. Use a common style in every document to be ‘picked up’ by the running header then it should work just fine.

        Use a VBA macro to create the running headers for you. I created a macro in Word (rather than embedded in a particular document) to create my running headers. I placed a toolbar shortcut and click it whenever I want running headers in a particular document. This way I don’t need a macro-enabled document. The macro does its job and goes away.

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