How to add header and footer in Google Docs (remove Google docs header and footer)

Headers and footers in Google Docs are the best tools to display descriptive information of your long Google Docs document quickly and to set out different parts of your Google Docs document. Header and footer are primarily used to add page numbers. But in addition to this, a header or footer can also contain information like document name, date and/or time you created or revised the Google Docs document, author name, a graphic, a draft or revision number. Let’s jump in to know how to add and remove headers and footers in Google Docs.

What are Headers and footers in Google Docs

Header is a section of the Google Docs document that appears in the top margin, while Footer is a section of the Google Docs document that appears in the bottom margin.

Headers are usually used for headings and Footers are generally allotted for page numbers or footnotes. Text entered in the header or footer section will appear on every page of the Google Docs document.

How to add header and footer in Google Docs?

  • Fire up Google Docs on the browser
  • Open a new Google Docs document or the existing one to which you want to add a header or footer.
  • Now Click Insert > Header & Page Number, and then you can choose either “Header” or “Footer” to insert it into your document.
How to add header and footer in Google Docs

How to add Header in Google Docs?

  • If you click on the “Header”, Header section will be opened and the cursor moves to the header section. You can now type your text in the “Header Section”. 
How to add Header in Google Docs
  • When you’re finished, press the Esc key on your keyboard to close the header or footer.
  • The header you type on the first page also appears on all subsequent pages in your Google Docs document.
  • If you want to add a different heading to a particular page in Google Docs document, you can do it by choosing the “Different First Page” option.
  • To do this, head up to the bottom of the header and tick the checkbox next to “Different First Page”.
  • If you want to change the header and footer margins, or layout, the “Options” dropdown at the right corner of the “Header and Footer” tab will let you do that.
  • Click on the “Options” dropdown and then choose “Header format”.
  • This will open up a window that allows you to alter the “Header” and “Footer” margin. 
  • By default, this change will get applied to all the pages in your Google Docs document. If you want to apply it to the current page or for some particular pages, choose either “different first page” or “different odd or even” or even both.
  • Once you customized the settings, click “Apply”.

How to add Footers in Google Docs?

  • Click Insert > Headers & Footers > Footer 
How to add Footers in Google Docs
  • It will open up the “Footer Section”.
  • Type the text you want to insert.
add Footers in Google Docs
  • You can customize the “Footer” section as you do in the “Header section”. 

Even after you close the header or footer section, it will still be visible, but it will be locked. To edit it again, just click anywhere on the header or footer, and it will become unlocked.

Keyboard shortcuts to add headers and footers in Docs

You can easily add header and footer in Google Docs using keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard shortcuts to add Header

  • Press and hold Ctrl+Alt and press the O, and then H key for Windows or ChromeOS machine.
  • Press and hold Ctrl+Cmd and press the O, and then H key for a Mac.

Keyboard shortcuts to add Footer

  • Press and hold Ctrl+Alt and press the O, and then F key for windows or ChromeOS machine.
  • Press and hold Ctrl+Cmd and press the O, and then F key for Mac.

Formatting text in a header or footer

There are various formatting options available in Google Docs that allow you to format text in headers and footers. All you have to is just select the typed text of the header or footer and choose formatting options from the “Format” tab.

Add page numbers to a header or footer

One of the topmost uses of “Header or Footer” section is inserting “Page number”. If you want to display the word Page as part of the page number, you will need to type Page at the desired location in the header or footer.

  • Click on the Google Docs document’s Header or Footer.
  • Place the insertion point where you want the page number to appear. 
  • You can simply type the starting number or customize it by using the “Page number” format.
  • Click Insert > Page number.
Add page numbers to a header or footer
  • Select the desired page number format.
  • The page number will be displayed in the Google Docs document.

How do you change the starting page number in google docs?

To change the starting page number in Google Docs,

  • Place the insertion point on the Header or Footer of the Google Docs document.
  • Click Insert > Page number > More options
  • This will open up a window that allows you to change the starting page number in Google Docs.
change starting page number in google docs
  • Change the “Start at” number to your desired number and click apply.

How to display page count in Google Docs Footer

You can display how many pages your Google Docs document has  in the header or footer of your Google Docs document. To do this,

  • Place the insertion point after the page number and then type “of”.
  • Now click Insert > Page number > page count.
display page count in Google Docs Footer
  • The page count of the entire document will appear in the Google Docs document after the page number.

Google docs different header and footer on each page

If you add a header or footer in the Google Docs document, it will automatically be displayed on all the pages in the document. But what if you want to use a separate header and footer for each page or a set of pages in Google Docs? 

Even though there is no straightway you can add separate headers for each page in Google Docs document, there are few workarounds you can customize headers and footers in Google Docs.

Let’s say you are writing a book in Google Docs having several chapters and you want each chapter to have the chapter name in its header. Eventually, you have to use a different header for several sets of pages.

That is where section break comes into the picture. Section break divides your Google Docs document into sections and each section will behave as an independent document for formatting. 

Thus adding a section break before the header or footer will let you add Google docs different header and footer on each page. To add different Header and footer for pages in Google Docs, you have to add a section break and then cut the link between the successive sections by unchecking the ‘Link to previous’ option. 

How to add different headers in Google Docs?

To add different headers in Google Docs, first, insert the header section.

  • Once you add “Headers” in the Google Docs document, you can see the “options” tab at the right end of the “Header” section.
  • Click on Options > Header format 
  • A new window will be opened.
  • Under the Layout section, check the boxes before “Different odd & even”
add different headers in Google Docs
  • If you want the first page to be different from the rest of the Google Docs document, you can also check the box before “Different first page”.

How to remove Google docs Header?

If you want to remove the added Google Docs header, the “Options” dropdown at the right corner of the “Header” tab will let you do that. To remove Google Docs header,

  • Click Options > Remove header
How to remove Google docs Header
  • This will remove the Google Docs header.

How to remove Google docs Footer?

If you want to remove the added Google Docs Footer, the “Options” dropdown at the right corner of the “Footer” tab will let you do that. To remove Google Docs Footer,

  • Click Options > Remove Footer
How to remove Google docs Footer
  • This will remove the Google Docs Footer.

How do I remove a header from one page?

To remove a header from one page,

  • First, double click the header or footer area to make it active for editing. 
  • Click Option > Header Format.
  • Select the “Different first-page” option under the layout section and click apply.
  • Now click Options > Remove footer.
  • The header will be removed from the current page.

And voila! You can now easily add or remove Google Docs headers and footers to display descriptive information of your long Google Docs document.

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