Have you ever dropped the pages of a large document or got them mixed up somehow and had to re-sort them into the correct order? I know I have! Were the pages numbered? If not, just think how much easier and quicker the job would have been with a number on each page.

Or perhaps you have a report with an attractive front page. You probably don’t want a page number on that page as it will spoil the overall look, but you’ve found that when you add numbering, the number also appears on that front page.

This is where using Headers and Footers can help you.

What is a Header and Footer?

Headers and Footers appear at the top and bottom of your document respectively. They are typically used for placing the page number or recurring information that appears on each page. There are many things that can be added to the Header or Footer including:

  • Page Number
  • Number of Pages
  • Document Title
  • File Location

And more…

When you first add a Header or Footer to your document, the Header and Footer Ribbon will appear.

To add a Header or Footer

You can start from the Insert Ribbon or by double clicking at the top of the document. Either way, the Header and Footer Ribbon will appear.

Start from the Insert Ribbon

Click on Insert Header and choose one of the built-in headers on offer or, to create your own, select Edit Header.

Now you are in the Header (or Footer) area of the document and the Header and Footer Ribbon is displayed.

  1. Choose from one of the built in Headers or Footers
  2. Insert other items, such as date and time, document information, etc
  3. Navigate through Headers or Footers
  4. Options – are all Headers or Footers equal?
  5. Position – choose how Headers or Footers show up on the page
  6. Close the Header and Footer Ribbon (you can also double click into the document)

Page Numbers

Page numbers can be added to the Header or the Footer and work the same way wherever you add them. Choose where they appear as well as the format. You can remove them this way too.

Option What it does
Top of Page Place the page number at the top of the page, choose from several designs.
Bottom of Page As Top of the Page, only number appears at the bottom of the page.
Page Margins Numbers are formatted to appear in the margins.
Current Position Page number will appear where your cursor is placed.
Format Page Numbers Set the formatting for page numbers here. Select the formatting for the page numbers and change the starting number if you wish to start form a different number.
Remove Page Numbers Remove the page numbers from the document.

Inserting extras

You can add the Date and Time which can be static or can update.

Document Info – choose from Author, File Name, File Path, Document Title or another Document Property

QuickParts – choose from pre-defined AutoText entries, Document Property or Field Codes.

Pictures – insert pictures from your device

Online Pictures – choose from a range of pictures curated by Microsoft

Navigation Options

You can set up your Headers or Footers to have different content when place on Odd or Even pages and you can choose to have a different first page. For example, you may not want to have the page number on the cover page of a report!

Set the Position

Set up how far from the edge of the page the Header/Footer is. You can also add an alignment tab.

Close Header and Footer Ribbon

This icon closes the Header and Footer Ribbon and brings the document back into focus.

Now you know the basics of using Headers and Footers, why not play around with all the options and see how you can make them work for you.

To learn more about Microsoft Word and how you can speed up routine tasks, take a look at my Microsoft Word Courses, Work Smarter with Style for Windows or Work Smarter with Style for Mac and Create Lead Magnets and eBooks in Word

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