Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 12, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 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. And, if you change headers or footers, then you'll need to modify the header or footer in the section after the cover page so that they don't have "Same as Previous" turned on.)

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 section 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, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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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