Creating Different Footers for Each Page

If you are writing a report or thesis, you may need a different footer on every page or a series of pages. This tip shows you how to create different footers within your document.

This method works for both headers and footers.

You probably already know you can easily change the first page footer, or create different odd and even page footers, by selecting check boxes. These settings are found in the ribbon on the Header and Footer Design Tools tab. (Click inside the footer to show this tab.)

Footer Navigation and Options groups in Word 2007
Footer Navigation and Options groups in Microsoft Word 2007

But what if you want to have a different footer for every chapter of your book or section of a term paper?

This isn’t as easy as selecting a check box, but it can be done without too much difficulty.

It is accomplished by creating a new section, then disconnecting the link between the footers. In Microsoft Word, by default, all footers in a document are connected. That connection has to be broken so you can create multiple footers without overwriting the previous ones.

To create a new section and disconnect the footers, follow these steps:

  1. Insert your cursor at the bottom of the last page of the previous chapter or section. (Make sure the cursor is outside of the footer area.)
  2. On the ribbon, select the Page Layout tab.
  3. In the Page Setup group, click Breaks, then under Section Breaks, select Next Page.
  4. The cursor jumps to the next page (or creates a new page if there is no next page). Remove any extra line breaks created. Be careful not to delete the section break (you can see it by pressing Ctrl+*).
  5. Go to the bottom of the first page of the new section and double-click inside the footer. This activates the Header & Footer Tools tab on the ribbon.
  6. On the Header & Footer Tools tab, in the Navigation group, click Link to Previous to deselect it. (If button is shaded yellow it is selected. If it is shaded white, it is deselected.)

Now you can create a new footer on this page. Repeat this process for each section of your document.

This is the same method used to format page numbers using different styles for front matter, main body, and appendices in a document.