Create and Modify Headers and Footers: MS Word

Dennis Faas's picture

When you want the same text (such as a title) to appear on the top of every page, you are creating a header. On the other hand, text that appears on the bottom of every page is called a footer.

Both headers and footers appear within the page margins and are unaffected by adding and deleting text in the document. You can set the measurement for headers and footers in the Margins tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

Longer documents often must have certain text on every page, such as chapter titles, author names, dates, file names, or page numbers. You wouldn't want to have to type the text at the top of every page, because if you edited your document, the text might not appear in the right place. Instead, you can type the text once and have Word place the common text wherever the pages break.

To create headers and footers, follow the easy steps below:

Choose View | Header and Footer. As soon as you do, Word changes to Print Layout view, displays the Header region in the top martin, and shows the Header and Footer toolbar.

You can type any text in the Header region (the area surrounded by a dashed box). By default, Word supplies tab settings in the header that allow you to left-align, center and right-align elements of your text. Press Tab to jump to the next position. Format as usual.

You can also click a button on the Header and Footer toolbar to add an automatic element called AutoText or a field to display certain common items:

  • Page number
  • Total number of pages
  • Date
  • Time
  • Author
  • File name

For instance, if you want the footer to read "Page 6," you'll type Page, press Spacebar, and click the Insert Page Number button to insert the field that will automatically show the page number.

Click the Switch Between Header and Footer button to display the footer area instead. You can place text in both the header and the footer, if you want. For example, you can place a title in the header and page number in the footer. When you are finished, click Close on the Header and Footer toolbar, or double-click the text in the document.

After you've added a header or footer, you can see the results in the margin in Print Layout view (it will appear dimmer than the text in the main document area). When you scroll through the documents, you'll see the header and footer automatically appear on every page of the documents.

To modify the text or format of the header and footer, use on these methods to view it again:

  • Double-click the header or footer area.
  • Choose View | Header and Footer.

Make any editing or formatting changes and click Close to return to the document.

Any changes to headers or footers affect every page in the document.

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