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MS Excel: Headers & Footers Demystified

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004 by | Filed Under: MS Excel

MS Excel: Headers & Footers Demystified

Let’s continue on our journey through the world of headers and footers. The train stops next at the MS Excel station.

To access headers and footers in Excel, you will go to the View menu, Header and Footer choice.

The Page Setup window will open with the Header/Footer tab already selected. (You can also get to this location via the File menu, Page Setup choice, then choose the Header/Footer tab.)


The top preview box shows the header for the worksheet(s) currently active. The bottom preview box show the footer for the same worksheet(s).

*NOTE: Each worksheet in a workbook has its own header and/or footer. In order to set identical headers and footers for multiple worksheets, at one time, select all worksheets to be affected before you begin. See the Office 101 section above for an explanation of selecting multiple worksheets.

In the middle of the window you will find two drop-down lists. Each contains a list of preset header or footer information that you may choose. If you select something from one of the lists you will see the result in the preview box.


That’s the quick and easy part, but let’s just suppose that you don’t like any of the list choices. You’ve got your own ideas about what should be in the header and footer. What do you do now?

See the buttons for Custom Header… and Custom Footer…? These are the buttons for you.


Clicking on one of these will take you to another window where you can enter whatever your heart desires.


The first thing you should note about this window is the three sections for entering text.

  • All information in the left box will be left justified on the left of the page.
  • The center box will put all information center-justified in the center of the page.
  • The right-hand box will put right-justified text on the right side of the page.

Just above the text boxes are buttons that can help you to easily set up the information you’re looking to include. These are the same types of buttons that MS Word utilizes. (Page numbers, number of pages, date, time, setting font options, etc.)

To use the buttons first click into one of the three sections (to let the program know where to put the information) then click the button you’re looking to utilize.

When you have entered all of the information you need click OK.

You should be returned to the Custom Header/Footer window where you’ll see a preview of your information.

I should probably warn you that you will not see them in the worksheet itself (like you sometimes can in Word). However, they will appear in the Print Preview screen.

Should you decide that your header or footer needs to be altered while in the Print Preview screen, you can get to the Page Setup window by clicking the Setup button. Then click on the Header/Footer tab and you will be back in the editing screen for more header and footer fun!

~ April

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