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, but it’s not unknown for a story title to be on the left and the chapter heading on the right. It’s your book, your choice.

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.)

You may prefer no headers at all, which saves a lot of set-up.

It is also usual for the first page of a chapter or story (with its own heading) not to have a header; the page can look over-busy with two titles. The problem comes when you omit these titled-page headers, as below.

Don’t start removing headers until all other editing is finished. Headers seem to attach to page numbers, not content. If you have already removed headers, you will need to review all the headers beyond that page whenever you add or remove a page.

How to 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?

6 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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