Working with Headers and Footers in Word

Make your document more professional looking and easier for readers to navigate.

Most Word users can insert a document title or simple page number in a header or footer. However, with a few simple steps, it’s possible to create attractive headers and footers that enhance the document and guide readers through its various sections. As with most things, simpler is better —don’t try to cram too much information in a small space with a tiny, unreadable font.

The quickest way to access the header or footer section of a document is to double-click in that area. In the most current versions of Word this will make the area active and open up the Header and Footer Tools menu ribbon. If you’re still using Word 2003, you’ll need to choose Header and Footer from the View menu.

Setting the Font and Inserting an Image

Set the font and paragraph style for the header or footer by right-clicking in the area and selecting the desired options from the pull down menu. Alternatively, click on the Home tab to select font and paragraph styles from the Home menu ribbon.

To insert an image, select Pictures from the Header and Footer Tools menu then navigate to the desired image file. The Picture Tools menu ribbon will open, enabling you to change the size and other properties of the image.

Using Document Info, Document Properties and AutoText

In addition to page numbers and date and time, Word makes it easy to insert Document Info such as Author, Title, Filename and File Path. In the Header and Footer Tools menu ribbon, simply click on the Document Info pull down and select the desired field. The text will appear in the header or footer at the current cursor position. If the information is incorrect (e.g. if you’re using a document that has someone else as author) you can simply change it and the correct information will be saved for that document.

The Document Info pull down also provides access to the Document Property menu for a broader list of options. Again, if the information is incorrect or the field isn’t populated with data you can simply change it and the information will be saved for that document.

To change the font and paragraph style, rick-click the field. Choose Font or Paragraph from the pull-down menu and make the desired changes.

The Quick Parts gallery provides access to the Document Property menu as well as the AutoText function, which enables you to store frequently used content for easy access. Simply highlight the desired text and select AutoText – the content will be stored in the gallery.

Applying Section Breaks

To create a new section, position the cursor where you want the new section to begin. Click the Page Layout tab then select Breaks. Choose the desired type of section break from the pull-down menu.

Double click the header or footer area for the new section. If you want the header or footer to be different from the previous section, click Link to Previous (to turn off that setting) and create the new header or footer as desired.