How to Add a Header in Microsoft Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding a header in Microsoft Word is a simple process. First, double-click at the top of the page where you want to add the header, or go to the “Insert” tab and select “Header.” Choose a header style or create a custom header. Type in your text, and when you’re finished, click “Close Header and Footer” on the “Design” tab. Your header will now appear on each page of your document.

After completing this action, the header you’ve created will be locked in place at the top of every page in your document. It will be formatted according to the style you’ve chosen or the custom design you’ve created.


When you’re working with documents in Microsoft Word, it’s often crucial to include headers. Headers are that little strip at the top of each page, often containing important information like page numbers, document titles, or author names. They come in handy for keeping documents organized and making them look professional. Whether you’re a student writing a research paper, a professional preparing a report, or someone creating content for publication, knowing how to add a header in Microsoft Word is an essential skill.

Why is this so important? Well, imagine you’ve got a stack of papers without headers or page numbers. Sounds like a recipe for chaos, doesn’t it? Plus, headers can help readers to navigate through your document more easily, and they give your work that polished look that says, “Hey, I know what I’m doing.” So let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of adding headers to your Word documents and make sure you stand out for all the right reasons.

Step by Step Tutorial: Adding a Header in Microsoft Word

The following steps will guide you through the process of adding a header to your Word document. By following these steps, you’ll be able to insert and customize your header.

Step 1: Access the Header Section

Double-click the top of the page where you want your header, or navigate to the “Insert” tab and click on “Header.”

When you double-click the top of the page, the header section will become editable, and the “Design” tab will appear. If you choose to go through the “Insert” tab, you’ll see a gallery of built-in headers to choose from.

Step 2: Choose a Header Style

Select a style from the built-in gallery or click “Edit Header” for a custom header.

If you pick a built-in style, Word will automatically format the header for you. To create a custom header, simply start typing in the header section and arrange your text as desired.

Step 3: Add Your Text

Type the desired information into your header, such as page numbers, document title, or author name.

This is where you can get creative. You can add dates, logos, or any other information relevant to your document. Make sure your text is aligned correctly and is easy to read.

Step 4: Close the Header

Once you’re done, click “Close Header and Footer” on the “Design” tab.

This will save your header and exit the editing mode. The header will now appear on each page of your document without interfering with the body text.


ConsistencyHaving a header ensures that each page of your document is marked with essential information, creating a consistent look throughout.
NavigationHeaders often include page numbers, which help readers navigate through a document with ease.
ProfessionalismA well-designed header can make your document look more professional and polished, adding to its credibility.


Limited SpaceHeaders take up space at the top of each page, which could be an issue for documents with strict formatting requirements.
DistractionAn overly embellished header can be distracting to readers, taking away from the main content.
Formatting ChallengesSometimes, getting the header to look just right can be tricky, especially for those who are less familiar with Word’s features.

Additional Information

While adding a header in Microsoft Word is straightforward, there are some additional tips that can enhance your header experience. For instance, you might want to have a different header on the first page of your document or a different header for each chapter. Word allows you to do this by selecting the “Different First Page” option or by using section breaks to create different headers.

Another useful tip is to use the “Quick Parts” feature in Word. This allows you to insert reusable pieces of content, like a logo or a specific header layout, without having to recreate it each time.

Remember, the header is part of the overall presentation of your document. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that it aligns with the tone and style of your content. Keep it simple, readable, and consistent with the rest of your formatting.


  1. Access the header section by double-clicking the top of the page or using the “Insert” tab.
  2. Choose a header style from the built-in gallery or create a custom one.
  3. Add your text, such as page numbers or the document title.
  4. Close the header by clicking “Close Header and Footer” on the “Design” tab.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have different headers on different pages?

Yes, you can have different headers on different pages by using section breaks and linking or unlinking headers in each section as needed.

How do I remove a header?

To remove a header, go to the “Insert” tab, click on “Header,” and select “Remove Header.”

Can I add images to my header?

Absolutely! You can insert images into your header just like you would in the main body of the document.

How do I make the header not appear on the first page?

Check the “Different First Page” option in the “Design” tab under Header & Footer Tools.

Is it possible to add a header only to certain pages?

Yes, you can add a header only to certain pages by using section breaks and applying headers to the sections you want.


Mastering how to add a header in Microsoft Word is a valuable skill that can elevate the presentation of any document. Whether you’re creating a report, a manuscript, or an academic paper, a header adds consistency, helps with navigation, and boosts professionalism.

While there can be challenges with formatting and design, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Remember to keep your headers simple, relevant, and in harmony with the rest of your document. With this guide, you’re now equipped to handle headers like a pro!