Novice Self-publishing, 6 – Headers and Footers

(Sanity Alert: this post – like the last, about Tables of Content – is unlikely to mean anything to those not already in the throes of formatting for publication.)

Headers, Footers and Page Numbers can be found on the INSERT tab of the Word screen (see screenshot below). E-books require none of these so this post is only relevant to your manuscript for print.

A quick way to get into a Header or Footer is to double-click with your mouse inside it. To return to editing your text, double-click again within the page text.


On the Amazon template, page numbers sit at the bottom, in the footer, and update automatically, but when you near the end of your editing, check to make sure they haven’t re-started themselves anywhere.

To re-set them, go to the page affected and follow the instructions in the screenshot below.

Even numbers will be on the left side of your open book, odd numbers to the right.


It is usual for the author’s name to appear in the left hand page header and the book title on the right, as above. Amazon’s formatted templates tell you where to add these. But in an anthology, it’s not unknown for a story title to be on one side with the book title on the other. It’s your book, your choice.

The Headers are one reason why Page Layout of your template differentiates between left and right pages. (The other reason is that the margins are different, to allow more space to bind the inner margins into a book.)

It is also usual for the first page of a chapter or story (which has its own title) not to have a header – see below. That page would look over-busy with two titles.

If you are using a formatted Amazon template, this is all set up for you if you copy-and-paste each chapter or story into the chapters set up for you in the template.

I thought I would save time by copying and pasting whole sections of our anthology at a time.

Wrong! This next section has been added since originally writing this post

By being less gung-ho with the second anthology, and investigating the template before populating it (hindsight is a wonderful thing) I now understand that the template deals with this issue by including Next Page Section Breaks at the end of each chapter/story.

I hadn’t used these to separate chapters. Instead, my Style for chapter headings was set up to add a page break before (this option is on the second tab of the paragraph formatting box, see Novice Self-publishing, 3; Word Styles).

The Amazon template has Next Page Section Breaks at the end of each chapter so that each new chapter page is the first page of a new section. Then simply check the toolbar option for a different first page header (see below).

Open a new toolbar by double-clicking inside any header, you will see the option for a different first page header around the middle of the toolbar.

If you try copy-and-pasting several chapters at once, make sure you paste before that final end-of-section break in the placeholder chapter. Otherwise, your pasted chapters will retain their original A4 formatting as well as the paragraph Styles you want to retain. While a Next Page Section Break will sort out the Headers for you, it doesn’t seem to control page sizes and margins in the same way.

The four Section Breaks available on Word’s toolbar don’t include this end-of-section break and I’ve been unable to find how to insert one on a quick internet search.

Below, is my original blog post detailing how I dealt with headers in our first anthology. I leave it here only to demonstrate how fiddly it was, and to offer clues about what might be going wrong with your headers. However, I have used some of the information below to add headers to full-page pictures (where they weren’t appearing) without affecting headers on other pages, so it wasn’t all wasted research.

What happens when you delete a Header

Just deleting the header text isn’t enough; it will reappear, unless you first do the following…

  • add Section Breaks to the page above the title-headed page and the page itself (see blue text above).
  • Remove the Same as Previous link on the title-headed page and the linked page below it (see red text above).

Note, you are not working on the page before or after the titled page, but on the next odd or even page. Here is the bottom of the title-headed page and those following

On this particular screenshot, I need not have removed the Same as Previous link on that odd-numbered page, but once this has been removed, it isn’t possible to reinstate without re-setting all the Headers. At least, that’s what it did for me, so I never risked it again.

Remember, even numbers are on the left-hand side of the open book; odd numbers are on the right.

This gets confusing when looking at a two-page screenshot – like this – where they are the other way around. This has to be borne in mind when assigning blank pages to the reverse of section separator pages. You will want your heading on an odd page (right-hand side) and its blank reverse on an even page (left-hand side).

I hope these screenshots are big enough to read on your browser. If not, try zooming your browser screen to 150% or so.

The last in this Novice Self-publishing series will be about uploading to Amazon (probably).

What have I forgotten to include?

7 thoughts on “Novice Self-publishing, 6 – Headers and Footers

    1. Sadly, not. I made the mistake of going to Control Panel/Programs to repair Outlook which kept crashing. When that didn’t work I tried the Online Repair option, which deleted Ms Office completely and was then unable to reinstall it, saying there was a file missing. I’ve since spent several hours with MS support trying to reinstall it remotely ( it now says it can’t because there’s another installation running), and I’ve been escalated to a tier 3 technician who’s calling me in “2-3 business days”. Since we’ll be touring Wellington tomorrow night and all weekend, it seems unlikely they’ll catch me beside the latop. I’m learning about Google Docs and Office online in the meantime.

      Liked by 1 person

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