Don’t forget to share this post

Excel is not only a powerful tool for data storage and transformation, it is also widely used for data analysis, so it offers a great range of features to make data more visually accessible. All Excel versions allow you to insert a header and footer to your spreadsheet, which can be pre-defined or custom.

Adding headers and footers to your spreadsheets is a great way to visually improve your files, and make them ready in a professional setting, such as reports. Since headers and footers are mainly designed for printed pages, they won’t interfere with your worksheet view; they are only visible in Print Preview and Page Layout view.

In this article, we’ll show you how to add a header in Excel for all pages, how to add a footer in your Excel spreadsheet, as well as how to edit a header and footer to showcase the information you need.

Since most users are unaware that this feature exists, here are the main benefits of adding a header and footer in your Excel spreadsheet.

  • Quick information: You can select and edit the type of information to include regarding your spreadsheet, such as page number, current date, filename, path, etc.
  • Clear structure: If your spreadsheet includes calculations, graphs, and pivot tables, headers and footers allow you to break down the information in a much easier way to understand.
  • Professional layout: If you need to generate reports, this is a great way to present your data in an organized and appealing way.

How to add a header in Excel?

Now that you have seen what headers and footers are used for, we’ll explain how to add a preset header in Excel.

How to insert a preset header?

  1. 1. Go to Insert > Header & Footer. The worksheet should change to “Page Layout” view.
How to add a header and footer in Excel Insert Header Footer
How to add a header and footer in Excel - Insert Header & Footer
  1. 2. To add a preset header, click on “Add header”, then click on the drop-down arrow in the “Header” button to browse through the list of preset headers. These combine information relating to page number, file name, file path, date, etc.
How to add a header and footer in Excel Preset Headers
  1. 3. Once you click on a preset header, Excel automatically inserts the data following the preset order. Here, I selected the last preset, which includes information on the author and date in the center section, and the page number to the right.
How to add a header and footer in Excel Last preset header
How to add a header and footer in Excel - Last preset header
  1. 4. To edit the order or contents of the preset header, simply click on the header section and change accordingly. Here, I will change the author's name to “J. Smith”.
How to add a header and footer in Excel Edit preset header
How to add a header and footer in Excel - Edit preset header

Click anywhere in your spreadsheet to leave the header area. If you want to leave without saving changes, press Esc. This header will now appear on all pages of your Excel spreadsheet, so make sure that you want this information on all printed pages.

How to Combine Multiple Excel Files Into One
How to Combine Multiple Excel Files Into One

Discover the most popular methods used to manually or automatically combine multiple Excel spreadsheets and data inputs into one master file

READ MORE

How to insert a custom header?

Now that you’ve seen how easy it was to insert a preset header in Excel, let’s create your own custom header.

  1. 1. Go to Insert > Header & Footer.
  2. 2. Click on any of the header sections and type in the information you would like to include. You can also select one of the preset elements in the toolbar and arrange it according to your needs. Here, I will start by adding a “Picture” element to insert my company logo.
How to add a header and footer in Excel Add picture in header
How to add a header and footer in Excel - Add picture in header
  1. 3. Browse for the image you want and select it. You can then click on “Insert” or double-click on the image file.
How to add a header and footer in Excel Insert picture
How to add a header and footer in Excel - Insert picture
  1. 4. Excel shows the “&[Picture]” command to include the image you select. However, if you want to view the image in your spreadsheet, click anywhere outside the header box.
How to add a header and footer in Excel Click outside header box
How to add a header and footer in Excel - Click outside header box
  1. 5. Follow the same process for the other two sections of the header. Here, I will include the date in the center header section and the page number to the right.
How to add a header and footer in Excel Customize header sections
How to add a header and footer in Excel - Customize header sections

Make sure that the image quality is good enough for printing and that it won’t interfere with the rest of the data ‌in the worksheet.

How to Share an Excel File for Multiple Users?

There are different ways to share an Excel file. Here's how to share an Excel file with multiple users for easy collaboration

READ MORE
How to Share an Excel File for Multiple Users

Like the header, you’ll see how easily you can add a footer in Excel.

  1. 1. Go to Insert > Header & Footer or simply double-click on the footer box.
How to add a header and footer in Excel Insert Footer
How to add a header and footer in Excel - Insert Footer
  1. 2. Click on the drop-down arrow in the “Footer” button to browse through the list of preset footers, which combine the same information as for the header.
How to add a header and footer in Excel Insert preset footer
How to add a header and footer in Excel - Insert preset footer
  1. 3. Make sure that the footer complements, not repeats, your header information. Since I included the company logo, date, and page number before, I will simply include the filename below, “2021 REPORT.xlsx”.
How to add a header and footer in Excel Center footer section
How to add a header and footer in Excel - Center footer section
  1. 4. Remember that you can always edit by simply clicking on the box and applying the desired change.
How to add a header and footer in Excel Edit footer section
How to add a header and footer in Excel - Edit footer section

Once you finish editing your footer in Excel, click outside the box or press “Esc” to leave without saving.

The steps to add a customer footer are almost identical to adding a custom header. The only difference is that you will enter data in the left, center, and right boxes at the bottom of the page, making sure that the data complement the one in the header.

Here, I have only included the file and sheet name, as the header already contains the company logo, date, and page number.

How to add a header and footer in Excel Customer footer
How to add a header and footer in Excel - Customer footer

How to automate your FP&A on top of Google Sheets?

Layer is an add-on that equips finance teams with the tools to increase efficiency and data quality in their FP&A processes on top of Google Sheets. Share parts of your Google Sheets, monitor, review and approve changes, and sync data from different sources – all within seconds.

Using Layer, you can:

  • Share & Collaborate: Automate your data collection and validation through user controls.
  • Automate & Schedule: Schedule recurring data collection and distribution tasks.
  • Integrate & Sync: Connect to your tech stack and sync all your data in one place.
  • Visualize & Report: Generate and share reports with real-time data and actionable decisions.

Limited Time Offer: Sign up today and get free access to Layer, including all the paid features, so you can start managing, automating, and scaling your FP&A processes on top of Google Sheets!

Conclusion

Adding a header or footer into your spreadsheet is a great way to turn your spreadsheets into a more professional, visual document. They are a great option to consider if you need to present your data to other team members or even your stakeholders.

By the end of this article, you have learned how to add a preset and custom header and footer to provide additional information on the spreadsheet. Although the examples in this article show how to add a header and footer in Excel for Mac, the steps shown here are very similar to Excel for Windows.

If you want to know more about how to organize and structure your data to make it more accessible, you will be interested in our article on Conditional Formatting in Excel: the Complete Guide.

Hady ElHady
Hady is Content Lead at Layer.

Hady has a passion for tech, marketing, and spreadsheets. Besides his Computer Science degree, he has vast experience in developing, launching, and scaling content marketing processes at SaaS startups.

Originally published Mar 17 2022, Updated Sep 23 2022