How to Insert Headers & Footers in Excel

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Using Data Validation in Excel

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 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
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed Audio mode
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.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account