Are you new to working in Google Docs and want to format your pages better? You should start by learning how to add a running header, footer, and page numbers to your Google Docs project.
Lucky for you, that's the topic of this tutorial. We'll walk through everything you need to know to get the most out of these Google Docs features.
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Why Do I Need a Header, Footer, and Page Numbers?
For shorter documents, you'll never need to know how to add a running header or page numbers in Google Docs. Writing some quick notes or a document outline? You can probably skip all the formalities.
But there are plenty of documents where it's essential to have a header, footer, and page numbers. For example, you'll want to get familiar with these features if you're writing a(n):
- short story you'd wish to publish
- academic document
- annual report or other business report
- brochure or magazine
These features help your work stay organized, and above all, look professionally made.
There are even more great reasons for learning how to make a header, footer, and page numbers in Google Docs. But my favorite has to be this one: it's simple! In just a few minutes you'll learn everything you need to know about this topic.
Let's dive in.
By the end of this tutorial, you'll know how to use Google Docs for headers, footers, and page numbers.
Throughout this tutorial you'll find screenshots of the Company Profile template, found on Envato Elements.
This template, and thousands of others, are available to download as part of your Envato Elements subscription. (If you don't have an Envato Elements subscription, you can sign up for one here.)
You can easily convert any Word template into Google Docs using this tutorial:
How to Add a Running Header in Google Docs
As mentioned earlier, learning how to make a header in Google Docs is straightforward.
Open Google Docs. Then, select Insert from the toolbar.
In the drop-down menu you just opened, hover over Headers and footers. Now click Headers.
That's it. You'll see that you now have a shiny new header to work with in your document. You can adjust the font properties from the toolbar, just like you would in the rest of your document.
How to Adjust Header Properties
You now know how to add a running header in Google Docs. Now let's see what you can do with it.
With your header selected, click on Options. This opens a drop-down menu with a few choices. For now, click the one that says Header format.
This opens a dialog box with a couple of properties you can adjust. They give you finer control over how your header will end up looking.
You can customize the margin, giving your header even more distance from the top. You'll even be able to choose whether you want a different header for the first page, or whether it's an odd or even page. Let's take a look at what that looks like.
You'll notice below that by selecting Different first page, our original header is no longer on the first page. Now you can add a new header or remove it altogether from the first page.
This is the same setup you'll get if you want to do a different header on odd and even pages. Try these options out if you're working on an eBook or other type of long document.
How to Put a Footer in Google Docs
While learning how to add a running header in Google Docs, you may have noticed some footer options. You may have wondered if adding a footer could be as easy as adding a header. Well, it most definitely is. Let's look at how to do it.
First, click Insert from the toolbar. Just like for adding a header, you'll hover over Headers and footers. But this time, choose Footers. And that's it, your footer is now in the document.
From here you'll have the same properties to work with as headers. Type your text in the footer space.
Now, click Options with your footer selected to format the footer. Click Footer format. Adjust the margins and which pages the footer will appear on as you wish.
How to Add a Footnote
Adding footnotes to your document is something you might want to do when working on an academic text. To do this, first go to the place in your document that you want to reference with the footnote.
From there, click Insert, then select Footnote. Your footnote appears above your footer, waiting for you to enter the details you want to share.
Repeat this process for each footnote you're looking to add.
How to Add Page Numbers in Google Docs
Learning how to put page numbers on a Google Docs page is the last thing we'll cover in this tutorial. Thankfully, it's just as easy as everything else we've talked about today.
We return to the Insert option in the toolbar. Once clicked, hover over the Page numbers option. You'll see that you've got multiple choices here, including where you want page numbers to be positioned.
Click on More options for a detailed view of these choices. Here you can choose how to put your page numbers in the Google Docs document. Decide whether you want them to be in the header or footer. You can also decide if you want page numbers on the first page, and what page you want them to start on.
Your Google Docs page numbers are now ready! Try out different fonts and sizes to see which one suits your document best.
How to Apply Page Numbers to Specific Sections
It's nice knowing how to add page numbers in Google Docs, but there's one last thing you should learn. And that's how to number pages for specific sections in Google Docs.
In order to do this, you need to add a section break to your work. This is made a lot easier by having a document that's already using headings.
Select the line with one of your headings, then click Insert and hover over Break. For this tutorial, you'll want to choose the Section break (continuous) option. (That's because this option starts a new section on the page you've currently selected and doesn't push it to a new page.)
You'll need to create section breaks manually. I recommend basing them on your headings, but different documents have different needs.
Now that you've got your section break created, let's finish learning how to number pages in specific Google Docs sections. Go back to your page number options.
You'll now see that there's a new drop-down menu available called Apply to. This lets you fine tune your page numbers. You can have them appear throughout the whole document, just for the selected section, or from that section onward. All the other page number options remain available no matter what you choose.
Now you can set up your Google Docs page numbers whichever way you think is best for your document.
Learn More About Google Docs
Did learning how to put headers, footers, and page numbers on Google Docs make you want to know more? Then you're in the right place. Our Envato Tuts+ instructors have written handy guides and tutorials to help you navigate through Google Docs. Have a look to see what you can learn next:
- How to Mirror an Image in Google DocsSarah Joy19 May 2023
- How to Design a Flowchart in Google DocsSarah Joy11 Apr 2023
- How to Use Google Docs When You’re OfflineAndy Betts15 Nov 2016
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Do you work in Google Docs frequently or need to create new documents often? You'll want to get to know Envato Elements.
This creative platform offers unlimited downloads of Word and Google Docs documents, PowerPoint presentations, and much more for a low monthly fee.
And unlimited means unlimited. There are no caps or monthly limits. Download as much as you wish to get your creative projects done. And the easy-to-understand license lets you use what you download however you want. You can sign up for Envato Elements today.
Start Working With Headers, Footers, and Google Doc Page Numbers Today
When working with large documents, learning how to make headers, footers, and page numbers in Google Docs is key. They give your work a more structured, professional look.
A shortcut to getting started with any longer document is an Envato Elements template. Why not download one now?