Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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: Formatting a Cover Page.

Formatting a Cover Page

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 29, 2021)


If you are writing a report, you will probably want to create a cover page. In some word processors, this would be done as a separate file. You can use this approach in Word, but you can also format a cover page as part of the document containing the report. This is done by making the cover page one section and the rest of the report another section. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. At the beginning of your document, enter the information you want for your cover page. Don't worry about formatting yet; just enter the text.
  2. Position the insertion point at the beginning of the report, but after the cover page information.
  3. In the Layout tab of the ribbon, click on the Breaks drop down list control. Word displays a list of break types.
  4. Click on Next Page found in the Section Breaks category.
  5. Format the text in your cover page as you desire. You can even change headers, footers, and page margins. (If you change the page layout, make sure you only apply the changes to the section you used for your cover page.)

There is another way you can create a cover page, and it works great if you are in a hurry. If you are using Word 2007 or Word 2010, all you need to do is display the Insert tab of the ribbon and click the Cover Page tool at the very left of the ribbon. Word displays a gallery of various cover pages you could add to your current document.

If you are using Word 2013 or a later version, click the Pages tool at the far left of the ribbon in the Insert tab. From the drop-down menu, select Cover Page. Word will display the gallery of various cover pages you can add to your document.

To use one of these pre-defined cover pages, simply click on the design you want. Word inserts the cover page at the beginning of your document, inserting the page break automatically, as described above. There is a good chance you'll need to adjust whatever cover page you add in this manner, or at least make sure it contains all the elements you want included. However, it is a quick and easy way to add a snazzy cover page to any report or document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9413) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Formatting a Cover Page.

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 seven less than 7?

2017-01-17 09:43:38

Elizabeth Sustachek

Can you tell me how to create a unique cover page with color that does not affect the other pages in the document, which I want to remain a white background. Every time I select a background color for my cover page it makes the entire document the same color. Thank your for your time

2016-09-08 00:11:27



I wish this would work - adding a cover page replaced the entire document except the last page!. This is different every time I use this function

2016-05-10 18:47:22

Joy Montoya

This is a helpful guide for general purposes but it also did not work for me.
I have to use a pre-made cover page that was designed by my office headquarters.
Part of this is a large carefully formatted image. If i save this pre-made cover page as a 'cover page' under the insert cover page menu, it always changes the formatting. I've tried all kinds of things with the margins and anchors and nothing works. It simply will not save this file as a cover page without shifting the background image to align with the margins.
If I readjust the margins after inserting this cover page, it alters the format in major ways.
A constraint here is that I MUST use this pre-designed cover page.

2015-12-30 11:22:57

Chuck Morford

I am writing a book. Everything is ready except the book cover. I have the title and sub-title followed by a photo on the formatted cover page. When I click the tab in the lower right corner of the photo, my courser moves to a new page. There is plenty of space below the photo and I must insert my name.

Your response to my e-mail address would be greatly appreciated. I am a subscriber and have used several of your comments while writing my book. Thank you.

2015-10-23 14:49:35

Maria Vitan

I am writing a newsletter and want the title to appear on the First Page ONLY. I do not want the title to appear on the rest of the pages.
I am not interested in a cover page, only in the first page of a newsletter or an article.

2015-08-21 16:58:54

Steven Corradi

This absolutely did not work for me. When I tried it, any changes in the header/footer of what is supposed to be the cover sheet were applied to all of the pages in the document (which, it would seem shouldn't be applied if this was a cover sheet).

2015-08-08 08:09:44

Karien Steyn

Thank you for the tips! I make use of cover pages quite a lot and this comes in very handy! Keep up the good work please!

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