How to Add a Header in Google Docs

- Written by Puneet

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In my role at a consultancy firm, where I frequently design business reports for clients, knowing how to add a header in Google Docs is an indispensable skill.

All the reports I design are detailed and filled with dense information. So, adding the right header makes all the difference. It makes the document more structured and adds a professional feel to it.

With the header feature, I can easily improve the documents’ readability, which reflects our firm’s attention to detail and organization skills.

Headers in are not just a formatting tool but a strategic element in professional documentation and effective communication. Now, you can easily use them, too.

Add Headers in Google Docs from the Menu Bar

Adding headers in Google Docs is straightforward, but it’s important to follow these steps in order. This way, you’ll be sure to get the job done right.

1. First, you need to open the document in Google Docs that you are going to work on.

2. Then go to the ‘Insert’ tab on the menu bar at the top of the page and click on it.

go-to-insert-tab

3. On clicking the insert option, a drop-down menu will appear. Now go towards the end of this drop-down list, and you will find a ‘Headers and footers’ option. Hover over it, and another drop-down menu will appear.

4. This drop-down menu will have two options. Click on ‘Header’ from the options.

5. Now, you have to type the content that you want to appear in the header section.

6. Once you’ve added the text, click anywhere outside the header area, and you will return to the main body of your document.

Add Headers in Google Docs usinga Template

If you are trying to save time and do not want to waste it on formatting, you can use the pre-formatted templates. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. First, you need to go to Google Docs from your browser and then click on ‘Template gallery’ at the top right of the page.
  1. When you click the template gallery, you will be presented with a range of templates to choose from. Choose one that best fits your requirements. These templates come with pre-formatted headers, so you no longer have to add headers manually.

You can, however, always modify the header according to what best suits your project needs.

Add Headers in Google Docs using an Add-Ons

If you want to experiment with header options even more, try the add-on option with Google Docs. You need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Once you are on the document on which you want to add the header, go to the ‘Extensions’ tab on the top menu bar.
  1. Click on it, and a drop-down menu will appear. From this menu, select the ‘Get add-ons’ options.
  1. A dialog box will then appear. Click on the search icon in this dialog box and search for an add-on that provides an advanced header feature.

Once you find a suitable add-on, install it and follow the instructions to use it optimally.

Add Headers in Google Docs with Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can highly speed up your workflow in Google Docs. Here’s how you can quickly add headers to your document:

On Windows

  1. After opening the document you want to work on, press ‘Ctrl+Alt+O’ and then press ‘Ctrl+Alt+H’ to open the header section. 
  2. Once the header section opens, type your content.
  3. Then click anywhere outside the header section or press ‘Esc’ to return to the main document and resume your work.

On Mac

  1. Once you’ve opened the document, press ‘Control+Command+O’ and then press ‘Control+Command+H.’
  2. This will open the header section in which you can enter the text you like.
  3. Once done, press the ‘esc’ key and return to editing your main document.

How to Add Headers in Google Docs On Mobile

Whether you are working on a Android mobile or an iOS device, the steps you need to follow to add headers is almost the same.

  1. Launch the Google Docs app on your mobile and open the document you want to work on.
  2. Now, click on the edit/pencil icon you see on the bottom right of your screen.
  1. Then go to the three vertical dots at the top right of the screen to open a drop-down menu if you are working on an Android mobile. In case you are using an iOS device, go to the three horizontal dots at the top right of the screen. 
  1. Toggle the ‘Print layout’ option from this menu to an on position.
  1. Then click on the top portion of any page of your document and add the text to your header.

Once you are done adding your text, click on any portion of your document and now you will find the header applied to all the pages on your document.

How to Customize Headers in Google Docs

There are a number of things that you can do to modify your headers. And I will tell you two major things that you can do to modify headers in Google Docs. Let’s take a look.

Format Header Text

1. Once you have added the header to your document and want to modify it, highlight the text first.

2. After you’ve highlighted the text, you can use the toolbar’s different options to format it according to your requirements. You can make the text bold or italicized or add a strikethrough. The toolbar options also allow you to modify the font, size, alignment, and even the color of the header text.

Adding Brand Logos/Images To Headers

  1. After inserting the header into your document, click on the header area and then go to the ‘Insert’ tab on the top menu. From the drop-down list that appears, hover over the ‘Image’ option.
  1. Then, a drop-down menu will appear. From this menu, you can choose a source from which you want to get the image. You can upload it from your computer, your Google Drive, gallery, URL, or even search the web.
  1. After you’ve inserted the image, you can adjust its size and position within the header section. Simply drag the image to reposition it or drag the corner handles to resize it.

Change Header and Footer Margins

  1. First, open the document where you’ve inserted the header and then go to the ‘File’ tab on the top menubar of the page.
  1. When you click the file tab, a drop-down menu will appear. Scroll to the end and select the ‘Page setup’ options.
  1. When you do that, a dialog box will appear. In this dialog box, you will see options to change the margins for the top, bottom, left, and right. Adjust the values for the “Top” margin to change the header margin and the “Bottom” margin to change the footer margin.
  1. When you are happy with your adjustment, click ‘OK’, and the changes will be applied to the page.

Your document will now show the new margin settings.

Conclusion

The header option does have limitations. When you apply the header, you will notice it applies to all pages. That might be a problem if you are working on business documents and your report, for example, has different sections that require different headers.

In that case, you have to use the section break option. Insert>Break>Section break(next page). After the section break is applied, the new section can add a different header. Ensure you click the ‘link to previous’ option to unlink the header from the previous section.

Last Updated: June 04, 2024

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