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How to Add and Format Slide Numbers, Headers and Footers in PowerPoint

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  • 0:06 Headers & Footers
  • 1:49 Modifying Elements
  • 3:30 Notes & Handouts
  • 5:27 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Paul Zandbergen

Paul has a PhD from the University of British Columbia and has taught Geographic Information Systems, statistics and computer programming for 15 years.

PowerPoint contains many options for adding details to your presentation. Learn about using header and footer elements such as page numbers, slide number, date and time, and footer text.

Header & Footer Elements

PowerPoint contains many options for adding details to your presentation. These include header and footer elements, such as page numbers, slide numbers, date and time, and footer text. By default, none of these elements are shown, but you can control how they are used in your presentation.

Let's start off with an existing presentation that does not have any header or footer elements applied.

Select the 'Insert' ribbon, and click on the 'Header & Footer' option that is part of the Text group. This brings up a Header & Footer dialog.

On regular slides, you can add any of the following three different elements: date and time, slide number, and footer text.

For date and time, you can either select to use the current date, which is updated automatically, or set a fixed date. The slide number is exactly what it says, and the footer is a custom text you can type in.

Once you have selected which elements you want to display, you can decide which slides these elements will be displayed on. Selecting 'Apply' will display the elements on the current slide, while selecting 'Apply to All' will display the element on all slides in the presentation. The latter is most common. In addition, it is common not to show these elements on the title slide, so there is a separate option for that.

Once you have selected which elements to display on which slides, it is a good idea to examine the results. Close the Header & Footer dialog, and browse through your slides to confirm your changes.

Modifying Elements

You can modify the placement and formatting of the header and footer elements in the slide master. Select the 'View' ribbon, and click on the 'Slide Master' option in the Master Views group. You can now modify the placeholders for the elements of interest.

For example, the elements appeared quite small, so let's increase the font of the footer text. You can change this for the slide master used by all slides or only on certain layouts. To maintain consistency in your presentation, it is typically best to change the setting for the slide master.

Click the thumbnail for the slide master so that it appears in the main slide window. Now, select the textbox for the footer, select the 'Home' ribbon at the top and increase the font size. You can do the same for the other elements.

Once you have made your changes, select the 'Slide Master' ribbon at the top, and close the master view to return to the presentation. When you browse through your slides you will see the changes.

What if you don't want to see some or all of these elements on certain slides? For example, in this slide, some elements overlap with an image and you want to remove the elements. You can simply select the elements on this slide and delete them. Since you are working on individual slides, these changes only apply to this particular slide. If you change your mind about deleting the elements, return to one of your other slides that contains the element, open up the Header & Footer dialog, and click 'Apply to All'.

Elements for Notes & Handouts

So what about headers? Regular slides don't have headers, but if you want to, you can move one or more elements to a different location. If you do this in the slide master, it will apply to all your slides.

For example, perhaps you want to show the slide number at the top. Return to the slide master and simply move the element to its desired location. When you return to your presentation, you will now see the slide number in the top-right corner.

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