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Monday, January 25, 2010

Ask Sam: How do I set up a different first page header in Word 2007?

Fiction writers usually need to have no header at all on the title page, but want a header including a page number starting with 1 on the second and all subsequent pages. Today I'll show you how to do just that.

There are two ways to get to the Header area in Word 2007:
  • On the Insert tab, click the Header button and select Edit Header at the bottom of the list that appears
  • If the header area of the page is visible, double-click it.
Either way, the cursor is placed in the Header area, which is labeled Header. A new ribbon tab, Design, appears and has focus. To set up your headers, perform these steps:
  1. In the Options area in the Design tab, place a check next to Different First Page. The label of the Header area changes to First Page Header. You can insert first-page only header information here if you want, or leave it blank.
  2. In the Navigation section of the Design tab, click Next Section. The label of the Header area changes to Header.
  3. Set up your header information here. To insert page numbers, do this:
    • In the Header & Footer section, click Page Number.
    • Select Current Position. (Warning: If you select one of the "Top of Page" options, Word will blow away any header content that already exists!)
    • Select Plain Number. Word inserts a page number field at the cursor position.
  4. Format the page number. When you insert the page number field, Word starts numbering at page one of your document, even if your first page header doesn't display anything. As a result, the first numbered page of your manuscript will be 2. You want it to be 1, so you'll need to format the page number by performing these steps:
    • In the Header & Footer section of the Design tab, click Page Number and select Format Page Number. The Page Number Format dialog is displayed.
    • Click the radio button next to Start at. The value of Start at is displayed as 1.
    • Change the value of Start at to 0 and click OK. The first page of your manuscript is now page 1, skipping the title page.
  5. Either click Close Header and Footer or double-click the body of the document.
If you have more than one page of front matter, this won't work because you can't set the Start at value to less than 0. In that instance, you'll need to use Word section breaks-- but that's a topic for another day.

"Ask Sam" is a weekly feature. If you have questions about using Windows (XP, Vista, or Windows 7) or Word (2003 or 2007), send e-mail to stfalco AT and I'll try to answer your questions here.

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