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Odd & Even Headers and Footers

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Odd & Even Headers and Footers.

As you have learned in other WordTips, Word allows you to easily add headers and footers to your document. You can also specify that different headers and footers be used for both odd and even pages. Word will then automatically determine which footer is the proper one to use for the given page. To define separate odd and even headers or footers, do the following:

  1. Choose Page Setup from the File menu. Word displays the Page Setup dialog box.
  2. Click on the Layout tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Layout tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

  4. In the Headers and Footers section, make sure the check box labeled Different Odd and Even is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

Now you can set the headers and footers:

  1. Choose Header and Footer from the View menu. You will see the Headers and Footers toolbar, and a header box should appear at the top of the current page. Notice that the label at the top of the header box should indicate whether the header is for the odd or even pages.
  2. If desired, enter the information for the header, formatting it as you would format normal text in your document.
  3. Click on the Switch Between Header and Footer tool on the Headers and Footers toolbar.
  4. If desired, enter the information for the footer, formatting it as you would format normal text in your document.
  5. Click on the Show Next or Show Previous buttons on the Headers and Footers toolbar. The header or footer changes to the odd header or footer (if you were previously working on the even ones), or vice versa.
  6. Follow steps 2 through 4 to make your header or footer changes.
  7. Click on Close when your headers and footers are defined the way you want them.

Note that if you only have one page in your document, then you can only set the header or footer for the single odd page you have created. If you want to set it for even pages, you need to have at least two pages in the document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (960) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Odd & Even Headers and Footers.

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Comments for this tip:

Aster    13 May 2016, 08:37
So helpful, thanks
Robert Brink    11 May 2016, 22:59
I can find no forum that addresses a problem book authors face. It is easy to insert headers and footers, even to alternate what appears on even and odd numbered pages. My problem is that I want to begin the headers (I don't need footers) nine pages into the document, where the actual novel text begins. I've tried everything -- even deleting the first eight pages, inserting the headers, then copying the deleted pages back into the document. Alas, the headers are automatically inserted onto those pages. I delete the headers on any of those pages, and they are automatically deleted throughout the document.
Rusty Dils    22 Aug 2015, 14:35
This tipped worked, and I was able to put my index for my book after the Notes. I have one last problem. Now, the heading for the last chapter continues into the note section. Have not been able to change without also changing last chapter heading. Any advice
awyatt    05 Nov 2011, 11:37

Remember that Word allows you to specify headers and footers on a section-by-section basis. Thus, if you want the headers and footers to change, you need to insert section breaks into your document and make the changes in the headers or footers for each section.
P.G. van Dijk    05 Nov 2011, 11:14
On first view this is a useful gadget. But when you look closer you see some problems.
Many of my documents have a title page. In that case I want to keep the back page blank. That means that often the second page will also be blank. On those pages you want no headers or footers at all; not even page numbers. When you print the document you can work around this problem by printing the first and last sheets separately. Awkward, but it works. But not in the digital (original) copy.
But how if you want to use the headers to show the chapter titles? I see no possibility to achieve this.

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