How to Insert a Header on Only the First Page in Google Docs: A Guide

To insert a header on only the first page in Google Docs, first open your document and go to ‘Insert’ > ‘Header & page number’ > ‘Header.’ Then, check the box for ‘Different first page.’ Now you can enter your header content on the first page without it appearing on the rest of the pages.

After you complete the action, your document will display the header only on the first page, giving it a distinct look that can be used for titles, author names, or document information that you don’t want repeated on every page.


When it comes to document creation and formatting, the devil is truly in the details. An important part of making any document look professional and polished is knowing how to manipulate headers and footers. For various reasons, you may want to have a header appear only on the first page of your Google Docs document. This could be because the first page is a title page with different content, or you want to maintain a cleaner look on subsequent pages.

This is a common requirement for academic papers, professional reports, and even personal projects. Anyone who uses Google Docs for creating documents will find this knowledge incredibly useful. It’s not just about the looks; it’s about adhering to certain formatting guidelines for submissions, which often require only the first page to contain specific header information.

Step by Step Tutorial: Insert a Header on Only the First Page

The following steps will guide you through inserting a header that will only appear on the first page of your Google Docs document.

Step 1: Open Your Google Docs Document

Navigate to Google Docs and open the document you want to modify.

After opening your document, ensure you are signed into your Google account to make changes.

Step 2: Click on ‘Insert’

In the top menu of Google Docs, click on ‘Insert’ to reveal the dropdown menu.

The ‘Insert’ menu contains various options to add different elements to your document.

Step 3: Select ‘Header & page number’

From the ‘Insert’ dropdown menu, choose ‘Header & page number’.

This option allows you to add headers and footers, as well as control the page numbering in your document.

Step 4: Choose ‘Header’

After hovering over ‘Header & page number,’ another side menu will appear. Click on ‘Header’.

By selecting ‘Header’, Google Docs will automatically add a header section to the top of your document.

Step 5: Check ‘Different first page’

Once the header is active, you’ll see an option in the toolbar that says ‘Different first page’. Check this box.

Checking this box will separate the first page’s header from the rest, allowing you to have unique content on the first page.

Step 6: Enter Your Header Content

Now, click into the header on the first page and enter the content you want to appear.

This is where you input whatever text or elements you want to be displayed in the header of the first page.


CustomizationHaving a different header on the first page allows for a high level of customization, making your document stand out.
ProfessionalismSuch a feature is often a requirement in formal documents, so knowing how to do this can make your work appear more professional.
FlexibilityYou can have different headers for different sections or chapters of your document, giving you greater flexibility in formatting.


ComplexityFor new users, the process might seem complex and may require a bit of learning and practice.
Limited by DesignThe first page header is limited to the design and formatting options provided by Google Docs, which may not satisfy all needs.
Time-ConsumingSetting up different headers, especially for multiple sections, can be time-consuming.

Additional Information

While the steps to insert a header on only the first page in Google Docs are quite straightforward, there are additional tips and tricks to enhance your document formatting experience. For instance, you can also insert images or use different fonts in your first-page header for an even more customized look. Just make sure that any images you use are appropriately sized and formatted to fit within the header space.

Remember that changing the header settings after inserting content can affect the formatting, so it’s always best to set up your header preferences before populating the header with content. If you plan to have different headers for different sections within the document, repeat the process for each section, checking the ‘Different first page’ option before entering new header content.


  1. Open Your Google Docs Document
  2. Click on ‘Insert’
  3. Select ‘Header & page number’
  4. Choose ‘Header’
  5. Check ‘Different first page’
  6. Enter Your Header Content

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have a different header for each chapter in my document?

Yes, you can have different headers for each chapter by inserting section breaks and repeating the process outlined above for each section.

Will the header on the first page affect my page numbering?

No, the header on the first page will not affect your page numbering unless you specifically insert page numbers within the header.

Can I remove the header from the first page without affecting the rest of the document?

Yes, simply uncheck the ‘Different first page’ option and delete the content in the first-page header.

Is it possible to have a different footer on the first page as well?

Yes, the same process applies to footers. Check the ‘Different first page’ option in the footer settings.

Can I edit the first-page header after I’ve completed my document?

Absolutely, you can always go back and edit the header content on the first page at any time.


Mastering the ability to insert a header on only the first page in Google Docs is a valuable skill that can significantly enhance the presentation of your documents. It’s a simple yet impactful way to adhere to formatting guidelines and give your work a professional edge. With this guide, you now have the knowledge to customize your headers to fit your specific needs, be it for a school project, a business report, or any other type of document.

As technology continues to evolve, it’s crucial to stay updated with these small but mighty features that Google Docs offers. So, go ahead, give it a try, and watch your documents transform!

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