How to Use Header, Footer, and Footnote in Google Docs

620017 How to Use Header, Footer, and Footnote in Google Docs

Adding headers, footers, and footnotes to your Google Docs can help organize and enhance your documents. This guide will walk you through how to easily utilize these useful formatting features.

Benefits of Using Headers, Footers, and Footnotes

There are several key reasons you may want to use headers, footers, and footnotes in a Google Doc:

  • Headers and footers – Allow you to display information like page numbers, titles, author name, or date on the top or bottom of pages without distracting from the main content.
  • Footnotes – Enable you to cite sources or add explanatory notes by linking superscript numbers in the text to full references at the bottom of the page.
  • Enhanced organization – Headers, footers, and footnotes can help structure long or complex documents.
  • Professional appearance – These formatting elements make your documents look more polished.

Step 1: Insert a Header or Footer

Adding a header or footer to your Google Doc only takes a few clicks:

  1. Open the Google Docs document you want to edit.
  2. Select Insert > Headers & footers from the top menu.
  3. Choose Header or Footer from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click inside the header or footer space at the top or bottom of the page to start typing or adding elements.

You can align, format, or add images inside the headers and footers using the same text editing tools available for the body of your document.

Step 2: Enable Different First Page Headers/Footers

Google Docs allows you to use a different header and footer on the first page of your document than on subsequent pages. This is useful if you want to display a title or introductory text on the first page only.

To do this:

  1. With the header or footer selected, check the box next to Different first page.
  2. Customize the header or footer contents for the first page.
  3. The changes will only apply to the first page header and footer.

Step 3: Add Page Numbers

Including page numbers in your document helps orient readers and adds a professional touch. To add them:

  1. Select Insert > Page number from the top menu.
  2. Choose the page number location and formatting.
  3. You can include the page count on pages after the first page by checking the box.
  4. Use headers and footers to display page numbers.

Step 4: Insert Footnotes

Adding citations or references as footnotes is easy in Google Docs:

  1. Place your cursor where you want the footnote superscript number to appear.
  2. Select Insert > Footnote from the menu.
  3. Type your footnote text at the bottom of the page.
  4. Repeat this process to add multiple footnotes.

Step 5: Customize Header and Footer Options

Dive into the options menu (with header or footer selected) to fine-tune your headers and footers:

  • Adjust margins
  • Remove headers/footers from specific pages
  • Use different headers/footers for odd and even pages

Don’t be afraid to experiment with the flexible header, footer, page number, and footnote features in Google Docs. They can take your documents to the next level!


Adding headers, footers, and footnotes may seem complicated, but this guide has shown you just how easy these useful Google Docs formatting features are to implement.

Whether you want to organize long documents, cite sources, display page numbers, or give your documents a polished look, headers, footers, and footnotes have got you covered.

So try them out the next time you need to level up a Google Doc! Let us know in the comments if this tutorial helped you or if you have any other tips for using headers, footers and footnotes in Google Docs.

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