How to Make Different Headers in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating different headers in Word may seem daunting, but it’s actually a simple process once you get the hang of it. You’ll be able to give each section of your document its own unique header, making your work look professional and well-organized. Ready to learn how? Let’s dive in!

Step by Step Tutorial: Making Different Headers in Word

Before we start, let’s clarify what we’re aiming for. By following these steps, you’ll be able to create separate headers for different sections of your document in Microsoft Word. This is particularly useful for long documents like reports, dissertations, or theses.

Step 1: Open your Word document

Open the Word document you want to edit.

When you’ve got your document open, make sure you’re in the "Print Layout" view. You can check this by going to the "View" tab at the top of Word and selecting "Print Layout."

Step 2: Highlight the text for your first header

Click at the beginning of the text where you want to start a new header.

Highlighting the text tells Word that you want to apply a change starting from that point.

Step 3: Go to the ‘Layout’ tab and click on ‘Breaks’

Navigate to the ‘Layout’ tab in the toolbar and click on ‘Breaks.’

In the "Breaks" menu, you’ll see various options for page breaks and section breaks. For different headers, we’ll be focusing on section breaks.

Step 4: Choose ‘Next Page’ under the ‘Section Breaks’ list

Select the ‘Next Page’ option under the ‘Section Breaks’ list.

Choosing ‘Next Page’ inserts a section break and starts a new section on the next page. This means anything after the break can have a different header.

Step 5: Double-click the header area of the new section

Double-click at the top of the new section where you want to create a different header.

When you double-click the header area, the "Header & Footer" tools will open, and you can edit your header.

Step 6: Unlink the header from the previous section

Click on ‘Link to Previous’ to turn off the linking feature.

Turning off ‘Link to Previous’ allows you to have a distinct header for this section that won’t repeat the previous header.

Step 7: Enter your new header content

Type in the new header for this section.

Now you can add whatever text or formatting you want for your new header. It will be separate from the header in the previous section.

After completing these steps, your document will now have different headers for its sections. This lets you organize your document more clearly and makes it easier for readers to navigate through your work.

Tips for Making Different Headers in Word

  • Always remember to turn off the ‘Link to Previous’ option when creating a new header, or it will duplicate the previous one.
  • Use the ‘Navigation Pane’ to easily jump between sections when editing headers.
  • If you need the headers to be the same again, simply turn the ‘Link to Previous’ back on.
  • Headers can include things like chapter titles, author names, or page numbers—get creative!
  • If you’re working with page numbers, remember that each section can have its own page numbering format.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a section break?

A section break allows you to divide your document into sections, each of which can have its own formatting, layout, and headers.

Can I have different footers in each section as well?

Yes, the same steps apply to footers. Just double-click in the footer area instead of the header area.

What if I want to remove a section break?

To remove a section break, click just before the break and press ‘Delete.’

Can I use different headers on odd and even pages?

Yes, Word has an option for different odd and even page headers. Just tick the ‘Different Odd & Even Pages’ checkbox in the ‘Header & Footer’ tools.

How do I view all section breaks in my document?

Enable the ‘Show/Hide’ button (¶) in the ‘Home’ tab to see all formatting marks, including section breaks.


  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Highlight the text for your first header.
  3. Go to the ‘Layout’ tab and click on ‘Breaks.’
  4. Choose ‘Next Page’ under the ‘Section Breaks’ list.
  5. Double-click the header area of the new section.
  6. Unlink the header from the previous section.
  7. Enter your new header content.


Mastering different headers in Word can truly elevate the quality of your documents, making them easier to read and more visually appealing. Whether you’re a student working on a term paper, a professional preparing a business report, or an author writing a book, understanding how to customize headers is an invaluable skill. With the steps outlined above, you can confidently create documents with distinct headers that suit your needs.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different header styles and formats. The more you play around with Word’s features, the more proficient you’ll become. If you ever get stuck, the help menu in Word is a treasure trove of information, and there are countless online resources at your fingertips. Now, go make those headers your own and watch your documents transform!

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