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.

Odd & Even Headers and Footers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 14, 2017)

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.

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. ...

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