Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Suppressing Headers or Footers.

Suppressing Headers or Footers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 2, 2013)

5

Many people who come to Word from a WordPerfect environment are curious as to how you can suppress headers and footers in your document. While WordPerfect makes this very easy, the method used in Word is much more flexible (albeit nowhere near as easy).

Word allows you to create headers and footers for each section of your document. (This is a critical point to keep in mind, so it bears repeating: Word ties headers and footers to sections and allows you to modify the header or footer on a section-by-section basis.) Thus, if you have eight sections in your document, each section can have its own header and footer. By default, headers and footers for any new sections are the same as the section just before it. If you want to suppress the existing header or footer in a particular section of your document, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you put a section break before and after the pages whose header or footer you want to suppress. (For instance, if you want to suppress a header or footer on the fourth page of a document, place a section break at the start of the fourth page and one at the end.)
  2. Position the insertion point within the section whose header or footer you want to suppress.
  3. Double click on either the header or the footer, depending on which one you want to suppress. Word dims the main portion of the document, places the insertion point in the header or footer, and displays the Design tab of the ribbon. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. Modifying the linkage of the header or footer.

  5. Make sure the Link to Previous tool, in the Navigation group of the ribbon, is not selected. When it is not selected, the "Same as Previous" wording, visible at the right of the header or footer area, disappears.
  6. If you are working in the last section of your document, skip to Step 9.
  7. Click the Next tool in the Navigation group to display the next section's header or footer. (The wording on the tool in Word 2007 is "Next Section.")
  8. Again, make sure the Link to Previous tool is not selected.
  9. Click the Previous tool (also in the Navigation group) to again display the header or footer for the section for which you want headers or footers suppressed. (The wording on the tool in Word 2007 is "Previous Section.")
  10. Delete the header or footer. (A quick way I do this is to press the Home key to move the insertion point to the beginning of the header or footer, hold down the Shift key, and then press the End key to select everything in the header or footer. I then press Delete.)
  11. Click the Close Header and Footer tool at the right side of the ribbon.

Now, if you preview your document or print it out, you can see there are headers or footers in each section except the one where you deleted them.

The foregoing steps work fine if you want to suppress a header or footer on a page other than the first page of a section. (Remember—headers and footers are tied to sections and can vary for each section in a document.) If you want to only suppress headers or footers on the first page of each section in your document—perhaps you have one section for each chapter in a book-length document and you want to suppress the header or footer on the first page of each chapter—then follow these steps:

  1. Put a section break at the beginning of each section of your document. (For instance, if you are using a section for each chapter in your document, put a section break at the beginning of each chapter.)
  2. Press Ctrl+Home to move to the beginning of your document.
  3. Double click on either the header or the footer, depending on which one you want to suppress. Word dims the main portion of the document, places the insertion point in the header or footer, and displays the Design tab of the ribbon.
  4. In the Options group, select the Different First Page check box. The "Header" wording at the left of the header area or the "Footer" wording at the left of the footer area changes to indicate the header or footer is for the first page. Any header or footer that was previously visible also disappears because Word assumes you want your first-page header to be blank, as a default.
  5. Click the Next tool in the Navigation group to display the next section's header or footer. (The wording on the tool in Word 2007 is "Next Section.")
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each section in your document.
  7. Click the Close Header and Footer tool at the right side of the ribbon.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9383) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Suppressing Headers or Footers.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 4 + 1?

2017-07-31 18:35:11

Connie Goss

I use Word 2010. The "Different First Page" feature is great, but I wish Microsoft would change it to affect headers and footers separately. If I want a different header for my chapter title, I still want my page numbers to continue unchanged. As it is, after I click the "Different First Page", I then have to re-create the page number footer for that first page. I have not been able to figure out a fix for this. Has it been improved in 2013?


2016-07-27 13:32:28

Connie Goss

Is there a way to apply "different first page" to the header ONLY, leaving the footers the same?


2016-01-21 11:26:17

robin

Working with an invoice document where the inv info is contained in a table and following the table are a lot of notes. The client would like the invoice coupon (in the footer) to be on the first page only but because inv info may be multiple pages, the foot continues with those multiple pages.

Is there a way to do that?


2015-05-31 21:12:55

Charles Morford

I have tried on two occasions to subscribe to your newsletter without success. You have some good tips but i really want your weekly newsletter.


2015-02-04 12:40:35

Commenter

The "flexibility" of this feature is totally cancelled out and negated by its ridiculously complicated series of steps to achieve a very simple result. Absolutely absurd. The "flexibility" is a code word and a cover story for poor design, something most people will NEVER NEED. Thank you for unnecessary complexity, Microsoft!


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