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How to Create Headers and Footers in Microsoft Word 2003

written by: Krystyne20•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 6/28/2010

Headers and footers are a vital part of a well-formatted document, but for many people, creating headers and footers causes nothing but frustration and anxiety. If you are one of those people, you will be able to confidently create headers and footers after reading this tutorial.

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    Understanding Headers and Footers

    What are Headers and Footers?

    Headers and footers contain text and/or graphics which appear at the top (header) or bottom (footer) of every page (or designated pages) of your Microsoft Word document. They are used for a variety of purposes, most commonly for page numbering and dates.

    To open up the header or footer, click on View from the menu bar and choose Header and Footer (you can also press Alt+Shift+H). Or, if there is an existing header or footer, you can just double-click into it to open up that area.

    Your insertion point will move to the header area on the page where your insertion point was. Headers and footers are designated by a dotted border. The header is at the top of the page and the footer is at the bottom. The Header and Footer toolbar will also open up. It may appear in the toolbar area at the top of the document, or may appear "floating" near the header or footer.

    The Header and Footer toolbar contains the buttons you'll need to insert page numbers, insert dates, and change the overall formatting of your header or footer. Here is a detailed explanation of the Header and Footer toolbar:

    Header and Footer Toolbar 

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    Creating a Header or Footer in Microsoft Word

    1. Open a Microsoft Word document and open the header and footer area (View > Header and Footer). Your insertion point will move to the header of the current page. If you want to work in the footer area, scroll down to the bottom of the document and place your insertion point in the footer.
    2. Once in the header or footer, place your insertion point in the location where you want the information to appear (i.e., centered, right-aligned or left-aligned).
    3. Insert your header or footer information by doing the following:
    • To insert a page number in a header or footer, click the Insert Page Number button. (To edit the number format, select the number and click on the Format Page Number button.) The page number is inserted as a field code that will update as pages are added or deleted.

    Insert and Edit Page Number 

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    • To insert the date in a header or footer, click the Insert Date button (to edit the date format, right-click on the date and choose Edit Field). The date is added as a field code that will update to the current date each time the document is opened or printed.

    Insert and Edit Date 

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      • You can also type your own text or insert images. To insert images, you can copy and paste them -or- click on Insert on the menu bar, choose Picture, choose From File and navigate to your saved image (choose Clip Art if you want to use a clip art image).
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      Different First Page Headers and Footers

      There may be times when you do not want the header or footer information to appear on the first page of a document, or you want the first page header or footer to look different. To suppress a header or footer from the first page, do the following:

      1. Open up the header and footer area (View > Header and Footer).
      2. Click the Page Setup button on the toolbar.
      3. Check the box next to Different First Page and click OK.

      [inlineImage|link|DDB64FD8C00323EF2BA3E04522838A6432279A23|Page Setup - Different First Page|[inlineImage|left|CB348CDAC0F57078606567B2DF452FE23E7B926D|Page Setup - Different First Page|]]

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      You can now scroll down to page two and insert your header or footer information. Whatever you put on page two will appear on subsequent pages, but will not appear on page one.

    Word 2003 Headers and Footers

    Learn everything you've ever wanted to know about creating headers and footers in MS Word.
    1. How to Create Headers and Footers in Microsoft Word 2003
    2. Section Breaks and Different Headers and Footers
    3. Inserting the Total Number of Pages for Each Section of a Word Document

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