Adding a header in Microsoft Word allows you to display information such as the document title, author name, or page numbers at the top of each page. This can help keep longer Word documents organized and easier to navigate.
In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to insert a header in Word on both Windows and Mac. We’ll also cover customizing your header’s layout and settings.
Why Add Headers in Word Documents
Here are some of the benefits of using Word headers:
- Display key information – Show the document title, author, date, or other details at the top of each page.
- Add page numbers – Number all pages automatically with just a few clicks.
- Enhance readability – Break up text and make longer documents easier to parse.
- Improve accessibility – Format with heading styles so screen readers can navigate.
How to Insert a Header in Word
Adding a basic header in Word only takes a minute. Follow these steps:
- Open your Word document and select the Insert tab.
- Click Header > Blank (or any style template). Insert blank header in Word
- Type your header text.
- Click Close Header and Footer when finished.
The header will now appear at the top of all pages.
Tip: To edit an existing header, simply double-click inside it.
Customizing Your Header
After inserting your header, customize its layout and settings:
- Add images or logos – Insert pictures or illustrations.
- Adjust position – Fine-tune distance from top edge.
- Different first page – Unique header on the first page.
- Apply formatting – Bold, italicize or align text.
- Insert page numbers – Auto-increment page count.
Open the header for editing, then use the Design tab to access these options.
Using Different Headers in Word
You can have unique headers on specific pages:
- Double-click to edit the header.
- Check Different First Page to change the first page only.
- Uncheck to customize headers on odd/even pages.
This allows tailored headers on certain pages.
Removing Headers in Word Documents
To delete a header entirely:
- Select the Insert tab.
- Click Header > Remove Header.
This clears all headers without affecting the document body.
Tips for Using Headers Effectively
Keep these header tips in mind:
- Keep header text short and concise
- Use key phrases related to the content
- Include crucial identifying details
- Format with heading styles for accessibility
- Add images for visual interest
Common Header Examples
Here are some typical headers you may want to insert:
- Document or report title
- Author, editor or company name
- Date created or published
- Page numbers
- Chapter or section numbers
- Document status or version
Match your header contents to the document purpose.
Why Use Heading Styles in Word
Instead of manually formatting text as large and bold, use Word’s heading styles for headers.
Heading styles allow you to:
- Create automatic tables of contents
- Generate bookmarks in PDF exports
- Utilize the outline view
- Ensure accessibility for screen readers
Simply highlight text and select the desired heading level from the Home tab.
Adding polished headers in Word is simple once you know the steps:
- Click Insert > Header to open the menu.
- Select a preset template or blank header.
- Type your header contents.
- Use the Design tab to customize layout.
Headers make longer Word documents easier to organize and read. Match their contents to your document goals.
Now you have the skills to insert and format headers in Word like a pro!