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Header and Footers in Word

BrentBrent Canada Writer
edited May 2019 in Print Books
I want to put the author name in the header on the even pages, and the book title in the header on the odd pages. I've figured out how to do it but not without making the corresponding footer page numbers disappear. I cannot seem to get one to not affect the other and I've been searching the web for days for the appropriate method to do this. Any help would be appreciated. 


  • Hi MPBG,
    This is one of the most infuriating things to do while formatting in Word. I've never found a guide online that makes it as clear as I would like. 
    Anyway, here's what I can offer:
    1. Do not including any section breaks in your document.
    2. Finish your book completely. That means all the formatting and layout of the pages is done, the front matter is ready everything.
    3. Turn on Show Formatting
    4. Go to the first page you want to include Header content / Footer numbering on. (this is usually the first page of the first chapter as the front matter rarely includes a header/footer)
    5. On the previous page insert a Section Break - Next Page. If you click into the Header you'll see an indication of Section 1 and Section 2. 
    6. Go to the first Header in Section 2. Turn off 'Link to Previous', the click 'Different Odd and Even Pages'. Also note that you can remove the Header from the first page of the section by clicking 'Different first page'.
    7. Now add your Even page and Odd Page Header Content.
    8. Repeat Step #6 for the Footer on both Even and Odd pages.
    9. Finally, go to the footer and insert Page Numbering for both the Even and Odd pages (this must be done individually). You may need to Format the page numbering (should be available in the Header/Footer Ribbon) to manually tell them to start on a specific page number. For example, if the first numbered page is 1, set that footer to start on 1. And the next page to start on 2. The rest of the odd and even page numbers should flow from those.
    Please note that there is no perfect solution for this issue. Word documents are often layer upon layer of formatting. One little change you made to some text styles when you first drafted the document could throw off spacing that bleeds through to make the sectioning a nightmare.
    And be sure to check carefully the setting (link, different first page, different odd and even pages) for the header/footer for each section. Adding a new section causes the new header/footer section to default to linking to the previous. If the settings in the previous section aren't what you want, the new section will pull through those settings too.
    I hope this is helpful!
  • MaggieMaggie Publisher
    I agree with Paul. In fact, it is the only way to do it. Unlink first page, first odd page, and first even page, in header and in footer, from prematter.

    If you, or anyone, wants chapter title on one side and book title on other side then follow steps above PLUS unlink to previous the first odd page in every chapter. 

    If you need to force start on right with a blank page before, unlink the blank page, header and footer, to previous, and the first page of chapter.

    Sounds difficult but it's not. Just think Unlink, and Section Breaks.

  • BrentBrent Canada Writer
    Thanks for such a detailed answer. Unfortunately, for some reason, I'm still not able to get it fully done. Here's what I WAS able to do: I have some blank headers and footers for the first few pages of the front-matter, Roman numeral footer page numbering beginning part way through the front-matter, which is all good. Then I was able to get the odd and even header text working properly, as well as the odd footer page numbering (1,3,5,etc.). The only problem is that for whatever reason I can't seem to get the even footer page numbers to flow. I change one, they all change. I simply can't find the difference between the even settings and the odd, meaning why the odds are working but not the evens. 

    I think I'll just have to forget about the header text after all. I don't think I'm cut out for this side of writing. 

    Again, thanks for the responses, it really is appreciated.
  • MaggieMaggie Publisher
    The even is probably linked to previous or some other tiny thing you overlooked.

    If you want, attach your manuscript and I'll fix it (and tell you what the problem was). You can delete it right afterward.

  • BrentBrent Canada Writer
    edited May 2019
    That's a very kind offer. 
  • BrentBrent Canada Writer
    edited May 2019
    Thank you so much for your help, Maggie. I know it can be trying dealing with format-illiterate folks like me, and your kindness is very appreciated. What I wish to do is have "My Perfect Broken God" heading the odd pages, and "Brent MacLean" heading the even pages. Again, thank you. 
  • MaggieMaggie Publisher
    My pleasure. I will have a look at it tomorrow morning when I'm on my laptop. I will let you know as soon as I download so you can delete. Goodnight.

  • MaggieMaggie Publisher
    Ok, I have it.

  • MaggieMaggie Publisher
    edited May 2019
    Hi Brent,

    I fixed the page numbers. However, I have some recommendations.

    You have only four sections in the whole book. You need a Section Break at the end of each chapter. Not a Page Break. In this way you can adjust the header of each section and make it unique. With page breaks you cannot.

    It was hard to know which was your heading. Assign Heading 1 to your headings that way one knows which is a main heading and which a subheading. Because of this I could not begin to know where to enter a section break if I had wanted to do it for you.

    I recommend you make this book as great as possible. Remove spaces between Normal text, and set up automatic indents.. Make spacing, 1.25 or 1.15.

    It sounds like a lot, but it's not. One small step at a time.

    I am attaching your ms. Set up your section breaks and headings and feel free to come back and ask if  you get stuck.

  • BrentBrent Canada Writer
    Thank you so much. I'll try and get it cleaned up. 

  • MaggieMaggie Publisher
    My pleasure. I am deleting the doc from my previous email. I am assuming you downloaded it. Let me know if you have not.

  • BrentBrent Canada Writer
    I have it. Thanks again.

  • BrentBrent Canada Writer
    I actually do have a couple questions (sorry!). Since my book is derived from a blog, are you considering each blog post a chapter when you say I need section breaks after each chapter? I ask because that would probably be about 65 section breaks or so. 
  • MaggieMaggie Publisher
    If you want the blog heading on the right header and book title on left, yes. If you want author name on left header and book title on right header, no, because then each right does not have to be unique. Still, I would make headings for each blog post bigger, spacinv throughout 1.15 and use indents fir Normal text, no spacing between paragraphs. Make it readable.

  • BrentBrent Canada Writer
    Just wanted to thank Maggie and Paul for your help again. I finally got through it all and took your advice on the spacing and indentation. Got the headers worked out as well. 

    I just converted my Word file to PDF (after having to figure out how to embed fonts), but I have a few blank pages that showed up in the pre-matter (other than the intentional blanks). Would this be a problem be a misuse of section breaks in my Word file? 
  • A_A_CainA_A_Cain Oz Creator
    Brent said:
    Would this be a problem be a misuse of section breaks in my Word file? 
    Yes. Check your section breaks as well as your page breaks, you're doubling something up.
  • MaggieMaggie Publisher
    Yes, it's a problem. Slow down, go back, and figure it out. If you're forcing an even page to start on right and be 1 this creates a blank page before. Also, what Cain said, you might have extra section or page breaks.

  • BrentBrent Canada Writer
  • One other thing to watch for - a break near the end of a page might shift to the following page when making a PDF. That can result in a mysterious blank page.
    The fix is to use backspace/delete to pull the break unto the same line as the last piece of text on a page.
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