How to Make the First Page Header or Footer Different in Word

Learn how to change a page header when formatting a Word file

A header in a Microsoft Word document is the section of the document that is in the top margin. The footer is the section of a document that is in the bottom margin. Headers and footers may contain page numbers, dates, chapter titles, author's name or footnotes. Typically, the information entered in the header or footer areas appears on every page of a document.

Occasionally you might want to remove the header and footer from a title page or table of contents in your Word document, or you might want to change the header or footer on a page. If so, these quick steps tell you how to accomplish this.

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How to Insert Headers or Footers

To insert headers or footers into a multipage Microsoft Word document, follow these steps:

  1. Open a multipage document in Word.
  2. On the first page, double-click at the top of the document in the area where the header will appear or at the bottom of the page where the footer will appear to open the Header & Footer tab on the ribbon.
  3. Click ​the Header icon or Footer icon and select a format from the drop-down menu. Type your text into the formatted header. You can also bypass the format and click on the header (or footer) area and begin typing to manually format the header or footer.
  4. The information appears in the header or footer of every page of the document.
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Removing a Header or Footer From Only the First Page

Open the First Page Header or Footer

To remove a header or footer from only the first page, double-click on the header or the footer on the first page to open the Header & Footer tab.

Check Different First Page on the Header & Footer tab of the ribbon to remove the contents of the header or footer on the first page, while leaving the header or footer on all the other pages.

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Adding a Different Header or Footer to the First Page

If you want to put a different header or footer on the first page, remove the header or footer from the first page as described above and double-click on the header or footer area. Click the Header or Footer icon, select a format (or not) and type the new information into the front page. 

The headers and footers on the other pages are not affected.