Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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: Odd & Even Headers and Footers.

Odd & Even Headers and Footers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 9, 2020)

As you have learned in other WordTips, Word allows you to easily add headers and footers to your document. You can also specify that different headers and footers be used for both odd and even pages. Word will then automatically determine which footer is the proper one to use for the given page. To define separate odd and even headers or footers, do the following:

  1. Display the Layout tab of the ribbon (Page Layout in earlier versions of Word).
  2. Click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Page Setup group. Word displays the Page Setup dialog box.
  3. Click on the Layout tab. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Layout tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

  5. In the Headers and Footers section, make sure the check box labeled Different Odd and Even is selected.
  6. Click on OK.

Now you can set the headers and footers:

  1. Make sure you have at least two pages of text in your document. (You can't create both odd and even headers or footers unless you have both odd and even pages in the document.)
  2. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  3. In the Header & Footer group, click either the Header tool or the Footer tool, depending on which you want to modify. Word displays a series of choices for different headers or footers you can insert.
  4. Choose either Edit Header or Edit Footer, depending on your choice in step 3. Word adds a Header & Footer tab to the ribbon (Design tab in earlier versions of Word) and places the insertion point in the header or footer area. Notice the label that indicates whether the header or footer is for the odd or even pages.
  5. If desired, enter the information for the header or footer, formatting it as you would format normal text in your document.
  6. Click on the Go to Header or Go to Footer tools, as appropriate, to enter information for the header (if you created the footer in step 5) or the footer (if you created the header in step 5).
  7. Click on the Show Previous tool or the Show Next tool. The header or footer changes to the odd header or footer (if you were previously working on the even ones), or vice versa.
  8. Follow steps 5 through 7 to make your header or footer changes.
  9. Click on Close Header and Footer when your headers and footers are defined the way you want them.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9803) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Odd & Even Headers and 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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