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: Creating Page Footers and Headers.

Creating Page Footers and Headers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 19, 2017)


Word allows you to add headers and footers to your document. Headers are nothing more than repeating text that appears at the top of every page of your printed document, whereas footers appear at the bottom of each page. The beauty of headers and footers is that they only have to be defined once, and then Word places them on your printed pages automatically. To define a page header or footer, do the following:

  1. Choose Header and Footer from the View menu. You will see the Header and Footer dialog box, and a header box should appear at the top of the current page.
  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 dialog box.
  4. If desired, enter the information for the footer, formatting it as you would format normal text in your document.
  5. Click on Close when your headers and footers are defined the way you want them.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (251) 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: Creating Page Footers and Headers.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Adding and Using a Combo Box

Combo boxes can be a great way of getting user input in a worksheet. Here's how to add a combo box to your worksheet and ...

Discover More

Automatically Formatting Graphics and Shapes

Want to change the graphics formatting defaults in Word? You can customize some of these defaults, saving yourself some time.

Discover More

Helpful Pop-up Screen Tips

Screen tips can be helpful to people reading your document on-screen. Using the technique described here, you can add ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Paragraph Numbers in Headers or Footers

If your documents routinely use numbered paragraphs, you may want to place the number of the page's first paragraph in ...

Discover More

Odd & Even Headers and Footers

Adding a running header or footer to a document can be a nice touch. If you want, you can even tell Word to use a ...

Discover More

Quickly Formatting Footers in Documents with Many Sections

Need to adjust all the footers or headers in a document that uses lots of them? It's easy to do if you understand how the ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 8?

2011-11-05 11:36:25



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 then make the changes in the headers or footers for each section.

2011-11-05 11:28:33

P.G. van Dijk

Re: ‘Creating Page Footers and Headers’, WordTip # 0251, 2011-11-05

On first view this looks like a useful gadget. But when you look closer you see problems.

Many of my documents have a title page. In that case I want to keep the last page blank. That means that often the second page will also be blank. On those pages you cannot have headers or footers at all, not even page numbers. When printing the document you can work around this problem by printing the first and last sheets separately, suppressing the headers and footers. Awkward, but it works. Of course, this will not work for the original digital copy.

In a long document it would be useful to display the chapter titles in the headers. I see no way to achieve this at all.

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.