How to Make a Different Header and Footer for the First Page of a Word Document

You might have noticed when reading educative books as a student, that the top of the pages of the book always has a heading in different font size than the rest of the page. This top part of the page is where you add the ‘header’ for any document. While, the opposite of header, is ‘Footer’, which is placed in the opposite direction of the header, which is, the end of the page. If your document requires you to add a header and a footer, you might want to learn how to do it by reading the steps and following them in the same order as mentioned below.

Adding a Header and Footer to a Word Document

  1. Open your Microsoft Word. If you still have to start a new document, you can add a header and footer on an empty document as well. Or, if you have already made a multi-page document, you can add a header and footer to that too. It really does not matter if the document is filled or empty as the process of adding a header or a footer is not related to the content in the document.
    Open an empty Microsoft Word Document or an already filled document
  2. Now, right at the top section of the page, double click your cursor, until the page looks something like this.
    Double click on the topmost part of the page, or on the ending part of the page where you usually would add a page number

    A blue line appears on the page which shows you the area in which a header can be added. The same area of space is present at the foot of the page which is where you can add the footer.

  3. Add a header and a footer, as per your requirement and simply double click on the center of the page or anywhere else on the same page. Make sure you don’t double click on the same header and footer areas as they are selected, and clicking in these areas will not change the page view. So, as soon as you double click on the page, the blue lines that were previously showing you the respective areas for headers and footers will now look something like this.
    Add the text that you want to be a header or a footer. Usually, the header is either the title of the document or the name of the chapter. And the footer often includes the page numbers

    Now, when you start creating your document and as you move on to the next page, you will automatically see the header and the footer visible on all the pages of the document.Sometimes the requirement for a document specifies that the first page should not have a header or footer, which is mostly in the cases for students doing their degrees and are writing research papers or a thesis. You can remove the header or footer from the first page easily. Just follow the steps below.

Removing the Header or Footer from the First Page of a Word Document

When you double click on the topmost or the end section of a page, as we already learned in the above steps, the tools ribbon would show all the tools that can be used to edit a header or a footer. This is exactly where you will find the option for removing the header and footer from the first page.

  1. Check the tab that says ‘Different First Page’, as highlighted in the image below.
    Analyze the tool options for editing the header and the footer.

    By default, the header and footer appear on all the pages of the document. By checking this tab for Different First Page, you will remove the header and footer from the first page of the document, which will now look something like this.

    After checking the tab for a ‘Different First Page’ on the top toolbar, the header and footer from the first page can be removed, without altering the header and footer for the rest of the document

You can see that the first page for my document has no header or footer as I backspaced the text from both the spaces. If I had not selected this option and had backspaced the text in the header and footer of the first page, the deletion would take place on all the pages and not just the first page. That is why it is very important that you select the option for ‘Different First Page’ if you want the header and footer on the first page to be blank, or to be different than the rest of the document.

Or, if you want the header and the footer to be different, you can simply write something else in place of the original header and footer just how I did in the image below.

either leave the header and footer space empty for the first page or add a different text
Habiba Rehman
Major love for reading, but writing is what keeps me going. Dream to publish my own novels someday.