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Set Variable Headers and Footers for Multi-Page Templates

When you’re creating a template, you’ll often want the header and footer on the document’s first page to be different than the header and footer used on subsequent pages. A letterhead template is a classic example–typically, the first page of the letter should include your company letterhead, whereas subsequent pages should not. However, not all of your letters will be two or more pages in length. How then can you set up the headers and footers for subsequent pages without adding an unwanted extra page to your template? The trick is to create a ghost page in your template, apply the desired header and footer to the ghost page, and then remove the ghost page before you save the template.

  1. To begin, create a new template, choose File | Page Setup from the menu bar (Format | Document in Word 2001), and then click on the Layout tab.
  2. Select the Different First Page check box, and then click OK to return to your template.
  3. Next, add the ghost page by pressing [Ctrl][Enter] ([shift][enter] in Word 2001) to insert a manual page break.
  4. Press [Ctrl][Home] to return to the top of the template ([command][home] in Word 2001), and then choose View | Header And Footer from the menu bar.
  5. At this point, the First Page Header area should be visible. Add the desired information to the first-page header and footer areas, using the Switch Between Header And Footer button on the Header And Footer toolbar as needed.
  6. When you’re ready to create the header and footer for subsequent pages, click the Show Next button to advance to the header and footer for your ghost page.
  7. Add the desired information, and click the Header And Footer toolbar’s Close button when you’ve finished.
  8. Now that all your template’s headers and footers are in place, remove the ghost page by deleting the page break you inserted earlier.
  9. Finally, save the template.

When you create a one-page document based on your template, the first-page header and footer will automatically be applied. As soon as the document exceeds one page, the header and footer you applied to the template’s ghost page will be applied to all subsequent pages.

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