How to Add a Header in PowerPoint

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  • 0:01 Headers and Footers
  • 0:47 Purpose and Guidelines
  • 2:06 How To Add Headers and Footers
  • 4:22 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

PowerPoint gives you the option to add headers and footers to slides and handouts. This lesson will discuss their purpose, review guidelines when using them and explain the steps to adding headers and footers to your slides or handouts.

Headers and Footers

Headers and footers are the smaller print that display across the top or the bottom of a document. PowerPoint can also be customized with the presentation details by adding a header or footer. Typically, the information found in a header or footer is about the presenter, the company, date and time elements, page numbers and also confidentiality statements.

This information helps your audience (or reader) to know where you are in your presentation. You can also use headers and footers to brand the company or the presenter information so the audience remembers you. This lesson will take a look at using headers and footers in PowerPoint and how to insert them on a slide or a handout.

Purpose and Guidelines

The header is the detailed information that is placed across the top portion of a page and repeats on each page thereafter. A good example is a published book. Most books will have the title and/or chapter information across the top of every page. In PowerPoint, header information is only displayed on printed documents, such as handouts. If both headers and footers were visible on the projected slide, this would be too much of a distraction to your audience.

Now, footers, on the other hand, are visible across the bottom of the page, and again, repeat on each page. In general, the footer will display details such as the date and time elements, the page numbers and confidentiality statements. Although, really, there are no set rules on what information should go in the header versus the footer, I do have a couple of general guidelines when adding headers and footers:

  • The first one is to keep the font smaller than the rest of the slide content.
  • The second one is don't clutter your slide or handout with too much information.

One nice perk to using this feature is that, by using headers or footers, you can be assured that no matter how much you change the content on your slide, the information and placement will be retained.

How to Add Headers and Footers

As you learned earlier in the lesson, only footers can be added to a slide, whereas both can be added to handouts. Let's take a look at the steps:

  1. First, we'll open the presentation and click on the Insert tab.
  2. Then, in the ribbon, go to the Text grouping of commands and click on Headers & Footers.
  3. The Header and Footer dialogue box opens with several options.

In the Header and Footer dialogue box, you will see two tabs. One set of information is specifically for the projected slides and the other is for Notes and Handouts. Let's start by adding the details we want for the footer of our slides.

We will put a check in the box for time and date information and select to have it automatically update each time the presentation is opened. Next, we will add a check to the box for the slide number. Then, finally, we will add the company name to the Footer details box. Notice in the upper, right-hand corner of the dialogue box, PowerPoint shows a preview of where each element will be displayed.

There is one final option or check-box we can add. Often, you want your title slide to be clean and free from too much content. We can choose to omit this information from the title slide, which gives it a more professional look. When the footer information is complete, we can click on Apply to apply to just one slide or Apply to All to apply to all slides.

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