How to Make Header Different on Each Page in Microsoft Word

Image 042 How to Make Header Different on Each Page in Microsoft Word

Headers and footers are useful elements in Microsoft Word that allow you to display information such as page numbers, titles, or author names at the top or bottom of each page. By default, Word inserts the same header and footer across all pages. However, you may want to create different headers and footers for different sections of your document.

For example, you might want:

  • A different header or footer on the first page
  • Alternating headers and footers for odd and even pages
  • Unique headers and footers for different chapters or sections

In this tutorial, I will walk you through the steps to configure different headers and footers in Word using section breaks. I will use a friendly, engaging tone and include images to make the instructions easy to follow. Let’s get started!

Create a Section Break

The first step is to divide your document into sections using section breaks. Here’s how:

  1. Place your cursor at the end of the page where you want to start a new section with a different header or footer.
  2. Go to the Layout tab and click Breaks.
  3. Select Next Page under Section Breaks.

Section Breaks Menu

This will insert a section break and start the next section of your document on the following page.

💡 Pro Tip: You can insert a section break anywhere in your document, not just at the end of a page. Place your cursor in the middle of a page and insert a section break there if needed.

Unlink the Header and Footer

By default, headers and footers are linked to carry over from one section to the next. To create different headers and footers, you need to unlink them.

  1. Double click inside the header or footer of your new section.
  2. Look for the checkbox next to “Link to Previous” and uncheck it.

Unlink Header and Footer

This disconnects the header and footer from the previous section, allowing you to customize it independently.

💡 Pro Tip: Make sure to unlink both the header and footer for full customization control.

Create a Custom Header or Footer

With your new section’s header and footer unlinked, you can now design them however you want.

Adding custom text is easy:

  1. Double click inside the header or footer again.
  2. Click to place your cursor, then simply start typing your text.

You can also insert page numbers, images, fields like the date or time, and other elements. Use the Header & Footer Tools tab that appears to access these options.

Design Tab Header Footer

Feel free to get creative with multiple columns, borders, background colors, and more. The sky’s the limit!

💡 Pro Tip: Right click inside the header or footer area for a handy menu of frequently used options too.

Repeat for Additional Sections

To create unique headers and footers for multiple sections:

  1. Insert a next page section break at the end of each section.
  2. Double click inside the new section’s header or footer and unlink it from the previous section.
  3. Customize the header and footer for that section.

Repeat these steps for as many sections as needed.

Here’s a quick example document with different headers and footers on the first page, even pages, and odd pages:

Example Document

And that’s it! With section breaks and unlinking, you can configure different headers and footers across your entire Word document.

Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some troubleshooting tips in case you run into issues:

  • If changes in one section header affect other sections, make sure linking is turned off.
  • If you made changes but don’t see them on the document pages, click Close Header and Footer or double click outside the header/footer area to exit back into the main document view.
  • If a footer disappears unexpectedly, check that the Different First Page box is unchecked under Header & Footer Tools Design > Options.

💡 Pro Tip: View all your headers and footers at once by enabling the Header and Footer checkbox under the View tab.


Configuring unique headers and footers for different sections gives you complete control and customization in Word. Using the section breaks to divide your document and unlinking headers and footers, you can easily achieve this.

Now put these steps into practice in your own documents! Insert creative headers and footers, add page numbers, leverage images, and more. A world of possibilities awaits to help make your documents shine.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions! I’m happy to help.