Add Headers and Footers to Excel Worksheets

Add Preset or Custom Headers and Footers to Excel Worksheets

Adding Headers and Footers in Excel
Adding Headers and Footers in Excel. © Ted French

Headers and Footers Overview

In Excel, headers and footers are lines of text that print at the top (header) and bottom (footer) of each page in the worksheet.

They contain descriptive text such as titles, dates, and/or page numbers. Since they are not visible in the normal worksheet view, headers and footers are usually added to a worksheet that is being printed.

The program comes equipped with a number of preset headers - such as page numbers or the workbook name - that are easy to add or you can create custom headers and footers that can include text, graphics, or other spreadsheet data.

Although true watermarks cannot be created in Excel,  "pseudo" watermarks can be added to a worksheet  by adding images using custom headers or footers.

Headers and Footers Locations

  • A header or footer can contain up to three pieces of information. This information can appear in three locations on the page;
  • For headers, the locations are the top left corner, the top center, and the top right corner of the page;
  • For footers, the locations are the bottom left corner, the bottom center, and the bottom right corner of the page.

Preset Headers/Footers Codes

Most of the preset headers and footers available in Excel enter codes - such as &[Page] or &[Date] - to enter the desired information. These codes make the headers and footers dynamic - meaning they change as required, whereas custom headers and footers are static.

For example,  &[Page] code is used to have different page numbers on each page. If entered manually using the custom option, every page will have the same page number

Viewing Headers and Footers

Headers and footers are visible in Page Layout view but, as mentioned, not in the Normal worksheet view. If you add headers or footers with the Page Setup dialog box,  switch to Page Layout view or use Print Preview to see them.

There are two options for adding both custom and preset headers and footers to a worksheet:

  1. using Page Layout view;
  2. using the Page Setup dialog box.

Adding a Custom Header or Footer in Page Layout

To add a custom header or header in Page layout view:

  1. Click on the View tab of the ribbon;
  2. Click on the Page Layout option in the ribbon to change to Page layout view as shown in the image above;
  3. Click with the mouse on one of the three boxes at the top or bottom of the page to add a header or footer;
  4. Type the header or footer information into the selected box.

Adding a Preset Header or Footer in Page Layout

To add one of the preset headers or headers in Page layout view:

  1. Click on the View tab of the ribbon;
  2. Click on the Page Layout option in the ribbon to change to Page layout view as shown in the image above;
  3. Click with the mouse in one of the three boxes at the top or bottom of the page to add a header or footer to that location - doing so also adds the Design tab to the ribbon as shown in the image above;
  4. Adding a preset header or footer to the selected location can be done by:
    1. Clicking on the  Header or Footer option on the ribbon to open the drop down menu of preset choices;
    2. Clicking on one of the preset options on the ribbon - such as Page Number, Current Date, or File Name;
  5. Type in the header or footer information.

    Returning to Normal View

    Once you have added the header or footer, Excel leaves you in Page Layout view. While it is possible to work in this view, you may want to return to Normal view. To do so:

    1. Click on any cell in the worksheet to leave the header/footer area;
    2. Click on the View tab;
    3. Click on the Normal option in the ribbon.

    Adding Preset Headers and Footers in the Page Setup Dialog Box

    1. Click on the Page Layout tab of the ribbon;
    2. Click on the Page Setup dialog box launcher from the menu to open the Page Setup dialog box;
    3. In the dialog box, select the Header / Footer tab;
    4. Select from the preset or custom header - footer options as shown in the image above;
    5. Click OK to close the dialog box;
    6. By default, preset headers and footers are centered on a worksheet;
    7. Preview the header/footer in Print Preview.

      Note: Custom headers and footers can also be added in the dialog box by clicking on Custom header or footer buttons - shown in the image above.

      Viewing the Header or Footer in Print Preview

      Note: You must have a printer installed on your computer to use Print preview.

      1. Click on the File menu to open the drop down menu of options;
      2. Click on Print in the menu to open the print window;
      3. The current worksheet will appear in the preview panel on the right of the window.

      Removing Headers or Footers

      To remove individual headers and/or footers from a worksheet, use the steps above for adding headers and footers using Page Layout view and delete the existing header/footer content.

      To remove headers and/or footers from multiple worksheets all at once:

      1. Select the worksheets;
      2. Click on the Page Layout tab;
      3. Click on the Page Setup dialog box launcher from the menu to open the Page Setup dialog box;
      4. In the dialog box, select the Header / Footer tab;
      5. Select (none) in the preset header and/or footer box;
      6. Click OK to close the dialog box;
      7. All header and/or footer content should be removed from the selected worksheets.
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      Your Citation
      French, Ted. "Add Headers and Footers to Excel Worksheets." ThoughtCo, Oct. 1, 2016, thoughtco.com/add-headers-and-footers-to-excel-worksheets-3124044. French, Ted. (2016, October 1). Add Headers and Footers to Excel Worksheets. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/add-headers-and-footers-to-excel-worksheets-3124044 French, Ted. "Add Headers and Footers to Excel Worksheets." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/add-headers-and-footers-to-excel-worksheets-3124044 (accessed November 17, 2017).