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3.7: Inserting Headers and Footers

  • Page ID
    14302
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    A header is the area at the top of a page, and a footer is the area at the bottom of a page. Headers and footers consist of one or more lines of text, page numbers, graphics, and other fields, such as the file name, document title, current date and/or time, or author’s name. To create a header or footer, click either the Header or Footer drop down list from the Insert ribbon.

    Header gallery
    Header gallery

    A gallery of built-in designs is displayed. Clicking a built-in design makes the header or footer the active area of the document, while the body of the document fades to the background. A header or footer has three sections: left, center, and right. The user can either type text into existing placeholders, or insert fields from the Header & Footer Tools Design contextual tab, which only appears when the cursor is placed in either the header or footer.

    To return to the body of the document, double-click in the document body, or click the Close Header and Footer button on the Header & Footer Tools Design tab. Double-click in the header or footer area to make it active and allow for editing.

    The header or footer is printed on each page of the document. To specify a different header and footers for the first page, select the Different First Page checkbox on the Options group of the Header & Footer Tools

    Header Footer Tools tab
    Header Footer Tools tab

    Design tab. Any existing header or footer will automatically be removed.  A different first page is common in long documents to prevent the cover page from including the headers and footers contained in the rest of the document. A cover page usually does not include any header or footer data.

    One of the most common purposes of headers and footers is to include page numbers.

    Insert Page Numbers
    Insert Page Numbers

    Page numbers are helpful in documents that have more than one page. To add a page number at the current location in an existing header or footer, click Page Number > Current Position, and then choose a style from the gallery of choices. Scroll through the list of style options in the gallery to find one you like. You can select a plain number style, or a Page X of Y style to get a more defined starting and ending number (Page 1 of 7) format. Experiment to find the style that best meets your needs.

    An inserted page number can be further formatted as needed. Number formatting and different starting page numbers can be defined in the Page Number Format dialog window, which is opened when the user selects Format Page Numbers…. from the Page Number drop down list. Number formats include Arabic, alphabet, and roman numeral formats.

    Page Number format
    Page Number format

    The Page numbering options allow a user to restarting the page numbers at a user-defined number. This can be useful to recognize unnumbered pages that precede the main part of the document.

    In the Position group, you can control the amount of space allotted to the header and footer. By default, each is 1/2-inch tall. Users can change these values in the Header from Top and Footer from Bottom list boxes. Manipulating these selections will affect the printable area of the document’s margins.

    It is a “best practice” to add page numbers before adding other header and footer fields, because any existing text will be replaced by adding page numbers using the Insert > Page Number process. Alternatively, users can add page numbering to existing header and footer text through the Quick Parts feature, which is not explained in this text. Other than page numbers, headers and footers often contain the document’s author, date and/or title. Each of these fields help identify the document, particularly when the document is printed and compared with other similar documents.


    3.7: Inserting Headers and Footers is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Marcus Lacher via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.