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Basic headers and footers

Unless otherwise noted, all instructions and screenshots are from Microsoft Office for Windows.

Once you reach an intermediate level of facility with Microsoft Word, you’ll want to start using headers and footers to do more advanced formatting.  Sure, you can insert page numbers from the Insert menu, but what if you want to put the page number and the document name and the date/time stamp on the bottom of every page?

That’s where learning about headers and footers comes in handy.

And here’s your first tip: the feature’s not where you’d expect it to be in versions 2002 and 2003 (namely, Insert), but under View.  (I know, completely illogical.  Thank you, Microsoft.)  In 2007, you can find it under Insert and it gets its own ribbon (but that’s another video, later).

So, to insert your first header or footer:

  • Click View.
  • Click Header and Footer (about 2/3 of the way down the menu).

By default, you’re taken to the header.  But you’re also given a toolbar that allows you to navigate to the footer and/or to the next or previous header (if your document has more than one of each – we’ll talk about that more when we cover sections).


That third button from the right — the one that looks like this: HeaderFooterSwitch — will switch you to the footer and, if you click it again (it’s a “toggle switch”), back to the header.

Here’s where it gets fun (or tricky, depending on your point of view).  In any event, it may be easier for me to show you (rather than tell you) how to insert and format a basic header:

Versions 2002 and 2003:

(To view full-screen, click the button button in the lower-right-hand corner of the video player.)

by Deborah Savadra

I spend an inordinate amount of my time playing with computers and attempting to explain technology to lawyers and law office staff. It's not always easy, but someone's got to do it.

WOW – You read that whole post!

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