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

Creating different headers in Word is a handy skill, especially if you’re working on a document with various sections that need distinct headings. It’s a simple process that involves breaking up your document into different sections and then customizing the headers for each one. After reading this quick overview, you’ll have a good idea of what steps to take to achieve this in your Word document.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Have Different Headers in Word

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand that Word treats each section of your document independently when it comes to headers and footers. This means you can have unique headers for different parts of your document, which is great for organization and clarity.

Step 1: Divide your document into sections

Create sections in your document where you want different headers to appear.

When you want different headers in Word, you have to divide your document into sections. You can do this by placing your cursor where you want a new section to begin, then going to the ‘Layout’ tab and clicking on ‘Breaks.’ Choose ‘Next Page’ under ‘Section Breaks’ to start a new section on the next page.

Step 2: Disconnect the headers

Unlink the headers of each section so they can be edited independently.

Once your sections are in place, double-click on the header of the second section to edit it. You’ll see a ‘Link to Previous’ button in the ‘Design’ tab that’s now active. Click on it to disconnect this header from the previous section’s header. Now, you can edit the header without affecting the others.

Step 3: Edit your headers

Customize the headers for each section to your liking.

Now that your headers are unlinked, you can edit them however you want. Simply type in the new header content, or insert images or logos as needed. You can also adjust the font, size, and alignment to suit the style of your document.

After completing these steps, each section of your document will have its own unique header, enhancing the structure and professionalism of your work.

Tips: How to Have Effective Headers in Word

  • Always preview your document after editing headers to ensure everything looks as expected.
  • Remember to check ‘Different First Page’ if you want a unique header on the first page of your document or section.
  • Use consistent styling across headers for a cohesive look, unless you’re aiming for distinct designs for each section.
  • If you’re using headers for chapters in a book, consider including the chapter number or title for easy navigation.
  • Utilize Word’s built-in header styles for a quick and professional look, customizing them as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I want to have a different header only on the first page?

If you want a different header on just the first page, go to the ‘Design’ tab while editing the header, and check the box that says ‘Different First Page.’

This option is particularly useful for title pages or when the first page of a chapter requires a distinct header without page numbers or other common elements found in the subsequent pages.

Can I use different headers on odd and even pages?

Yes, Word allows you to create different headers for odd and even pages for a more book-like feel.

In the ‘Design’ tab, find the option for ‘Different Odd & Even Pages’ and check the box. You can then edit the headers for odd and even pages independently to give your document a professional, published look.

How do I remove a section break if I change my mind?

To remove a section break, first make sure you can see the breaks by clicking on the ‘Home’ tab and then on ‘Show/Hide ΒΆ.’ Then, simply place your cursor at the beginning of the break and press ‘Delete.’

Removing a section break can affect the formatting of your document, so be sure to double-check your headers and footers after doing so.

Why isn’t my header changing when I edit it?

If your header isn’t changing, it’s likely because it’s still linked to the previous section. Make sure you’ve clicked ‘Link to Previous’ to turn off the linking feature.

Remember that each section acts independently, so you’ll have to unlink the headers in each section where you want a different header.

Can I have different footers in each section as well?

Absolutely, the same principles for headers apply to footers. Just follow the same steps within the footer area of your document.

Editing footers can be especially useful for including things like page numbers or document titles that may change throughout the document.


  1. Divide your document into sections.
  2. Disconnect the headers of each section.
  3. Edit your headers for each section.


Mastering how to have different headers in Word can elevate the look and feel of your documents, whether you’re writing a book, preparing a business report, or crafting an academic paper. It adds a layer of sophistication and helps readers navigate through your content with ease. Like any skill, it might take a bit of practice to get it right, but once you do, you’ll find that it’s a simple and effective way to organize your work. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different header designs, and always remember to review your document after making changes to ensure everything is just as you want it. With these tips and tricks up your sleeve, go ahead and make your Word documents stand out!

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