Header / Footer


Find the highest point on the document page on which you can type and then move the mouse above that point and double-click to open the header/footer area. The header is used more frequently in non-fiction books to provide information especially the chapter name and number to help the reader keep track of where they are. It is also somewhere to place the book title and author name, keeping them in the eye of the reader and giving a more professional feel to the work. The footer is used less frequently for such information but often carries the page numbers in fiction and non-fiction although some will have the numbering in the header.

The simplest use of the header/footer area is to have the same information on each page of the book - or none at all! The default setting for documents with multiple sections containing header and footer text is that all headers and footers in every section are linked. So, if you have a 200 page book spread across twenty sections and have not changed the default setting deciding to change the header (or footer) on page 129 (say) will cause the header (or footer) text in every single page to change. This is clearly not what is desired.

To make changes to the header/footer area in a single section you need to break the link between the sections. Open a document with several sections and double-click in the header/footer area you will see the Header & Footer Tools tab open on the Ribbon. You will also see that both the even and the odd page header/footer have a tab indicating the section number and whether it is the same as the previous section or not.

For example

At the top of the even page (below the page break in the diagram) the tabs say

  • Even Page Header - Section 12
  • Same as Previous


In fact because it states the book title / author the even page header is the same on every page except for parts of the front matter. Note that the footer simply has the page number which again is the same as the previous (meaning a continuation of the numbering).

Note that in the Ribbon the Link to Previous is selected (highlighted in yellow).

Now look at the odd page. The tabs are organised in an identical manner to the even page but -

click in the header of the odd page and

Link to Previous is no longer highlighted because each section has a different odd page header and so cannot be linked to the previous section.


Now with the cursor still in the header area of the odd page go to the Ribbon and select Link to Previous.

A pop-up box asks you

Do you want to delete this header/footer and connect to the header/footer in the previous section?

If you answer yes the header text will change to that of the previous section.


Note that in this linkage process the header and footer must be treated separately. The header can be unlinked while the footer remains linked and vice-versa.