How to Insert Headers & Footers in Excel

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  • 0:01 Background on Headers…
  • 1:12 The Page Layout View
  • 2:24 Adding a Header
  • 3:36 Adding a Footer
  • 4:41 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.

Excel has a feature that allows you to add header and footer information that displays on your printed Excel document. Headers and footers help make the document a bit more professional and easier to read.

Background on Headers and Footers

Headers and footers, added to any document, help to make the printed version a bit more professional. When adding these to an Excel workbook, it also makes it easier to read. The header is the text that appears in the top margin. The footer is the text that appears in the bottom margin. Headers and footers will usually display information such as the page number, date, workbook/worksheet name and the author. Headers and footers only show on the printed Excel document or in the Print>Preview.

Let's use an example. I have a list of potential clients. I would like to send each client a packet of information via postal mail. But first, I want to send them an email, notifying them it's on the way. My assistant is going to gather the information and send the materials. He would like a printed copy of the client list. There are a several key pieces of information that would be good to include in the header and footer of the document.

In this lesson, we will use our client list to demonstrate the steps for adding key information to headers and footers in Excel.

The Page Layout View

Regardless, if you are adding a header or a footer, the first step is to open the Page Layout view. This view can be opened by clicking on the Page Layout view icon located in the status bar at the bottom of the screen. (It's in the lower, right-hand side of the screen - second icon from the left.)

In the Page Layout view, notice the text 'Click to Add Header' that appears centered in the top margin of the page. (Likewise, at the bottom of the page, we have Click to Add Footer.) Clicking on the text will open the header's text boxes. Yes, 'boxes.' It is not clearly noticeable at first, but if you click your mouse on the left side of the header, a left-hand text box is activated. Click in the center, and the center text box is activated. Click on the right-hand side and…well, I think you get the idea. This allows you to decide where you want the information. The footer works the same way.

Now that we have an overview of the Page Layout view, let's look at the steps to adding the details.

Adding a Header

For the header of our document, we will add the page number and date. We will start with some basic steps.

1. Click on the text to open the header text boxes. This activates the Header and Footer Tools>Design menu in the ribbon.

2. Click on Design.

3. Select the box where you want to add the information (Left, Center or Right).

4. Look in the ribbon and go to the Header & Footer Elements grouping of commands. Excel provides short-cut commands for different types of information you may want to add to your header or footer.

5. Click on the content, for instance page number, to insert the information. For our example, we will add the page number on the left and the date on the right.

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