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How to Add a Running Head in Google Docs

If you’re working in Google Docs and trying to create a running head, you may be struggling to figure out the best way to do this.

Whether you need a running head because you’re writing an APA-style paper, or because you want to keep your file organized, formatting your file with this kind of header can make your document easier to reference.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to add a running head in Google Docs. 

Table of Contents

What is a Running Head?

A running head is a page header that is at the top of every page in a document.

This header gives the reader important information.

The running head includes:

  • The title of the document in capital letters (a shortened version no more than 50 characters long)
  • The page number

The formatting of this header requires that:

  • The title is aligned to the left
  • Page number aligned to the right

Running heads are required if you’re writing in APA style formatting.

Making a Running Head in Google Docs

Creating an APA-style running head in Googe Docs is a pretty simple process.

Here are the steps:

1. Open your Google Doc and in the top menu select Insert


2. From the drop-down menu select Headers & footers>Header


3. You should now see the header editor on your first page. On the right-hand side of the editor, check the box for Different first page. We do this because our running head requires the first page include the words “running head”


4. Now let’s set our font to Times New Roman and set our font size to 12


5. Now you can begin typing your header. The first page should include the words “Running head” and then a colon. Then your title needs to be in all capital letters


6. After you’ve created the header on your first page, click into the header area on the second page and type the title of your document again, this time in all caps. On this page we do not include the words “Running head”


7. Now that we have our header created, we need to also add page numbers to the right side of the header. To do this in the top menu select Insert>Page numbers. Select the option that includes a page number on the top right of each page


8. You should now see page numbers in your header. If the page numbers are not lined up appropriately on the right side of the page, you may need to click just before the page number and select Tab on your keyboard until the number is in the appropriate place


Closing Thoughts

If you’ve never created a running header before, it can seem like an intimidating task at first.

However after you’ve learned the appropriate steps, you will that it is actually very easy.

We hope this tutorial cleared up any confusion that you had on how to accomplish this!

More Google Docs Tutorials:
How to Rotate Text
How to Add a New Page
How to Insert Date