Headers, footers and other useful Word page settings

Headers, Footers and other useful Word Page Settings

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AUTHOR:  JASON MORRELL 

Jason Morrell

1.  SETTING THE MARGINS

You can change the top, bottom, left and right margins.

To change the margin sizes

1.  Select the Layout tab.

2.  Click the Margins icon in the Page Setup group.

The Margins button is found on the Layout ribbon in Word
  • The standard margins are 1 inch all the way around the page. That's 2.54 cm in new money. This is the NORMAL option
  • The Narrow, Moderate or Wide options have different pre-set margin sizes.
  • The Mirrored options are designed for double-sided and bound books.

3.  To set your own margin sizes, choose Custom Margins at the very bottom of the list.

Select from a variety of preset margin configurations or choose Custom Margins to set your own

4.  Type the margin measurements in the Top, Bottom, Left and Right boxes.

Type the margin values straight into each box or use the up and down spinner arrows to change the value
  • You can type the values straight into the box or use the up and down spinner arrows.
  • You can also press the Tab key to jump from one box to the next.

2. CHANGING page ORIENTATION

The orientation of the page can be portrait (upright short edge on the base) or landscape (flat, long edge on the base)

To set the page orientation:

1.  Select the Layout tab.

2.  Click the Orientation icon in the Page Setup group.

3.  Click the Portrait or Landscape icon.

A common Word page setting is orientation: Choose between portrait and landscape orientation

3. CHANGING THE PAPER SIZE

Americans use Letter sized paper.

Most of the rest of the world uses A4.

Because Microsoft is an American company, the default page size on a new installation of Word is Letter.

To change the paper size to A4 (or any other size of your choice):

1.  Select the Layout tab.

2.  Click the Size icon in the Page Setup group.

3.  Choose Letter or A4. If you require a different paper size, click More Paper Sizes at the bottom of the list and select from an extended list

Change the size of the page in Word

4. ADDING PAGE NUMBERS (THE EASY WAY)

Once you are comfortable creating a document, it is very useful to display page numbers, normally at the bottom of the screen. But you don't have to insert the pages numbers, page by page. Instead you can use the built-in Word page settings. 

To add page numbers:

1.  Select the Insert tab.

2.  Click the Page Number icon in the Header and Footer group.

3.  Choose Top of page or Bottom of page.

Adding pages numbers to appear automatically throughout your document

4.  Scroll through the design gallery and choose a page number design that you like.

Choose a design for your page number from the design gallery (part of the Word page settings

5. HEADERS AND FOOTERS

Inserting a Page Number (described above) is the simplest example of a header or footer. Headers & footers are created once and appear on every page in your document. They smarten up the appearance of a document by giving it a sense of continuity.

[Note: You can subdivide your document into sections and have a different header and footer for each section. You can even take it one stage further and subdivide each section into a first page and odd and even pages and have different headers and footers for each sub-division].These techniques are covered in the intermediate and advanced Word courses.

Headers and footers typically contain information like author name, company name, document title, file name and of course page numbers.

6. ADDING A TEMPLATE HEADER OR FOOTER

To choose from a gallery of pre-designed headers and footers:

1.  Click the Insert tab.

2.  Click the Header or Footer button.

3.  Click to choose a design.

Choose a header or footer design from the gallery

Tip: Choose a matching header and footer design for a more cohesive, nicely designed document.

Alternatively,…

1.  Double-left-click inside the top margin area or bottom margin area of the page.

2.  On the Header and Footer tools ribbon click the Header or Footer button (on the left side).

3.  Click to choose a design.

Choose a header or footer design from the gallery on the Header and Footer Tools ribbon (Word page settings)

7. CREATING YOUR OWN HEADER OR FOOTER

To create a header or footer:

1.  Double-left-click inside the top margin area or bottom margin area of the page.

2.  Type or insert any content just like you would on the main page. The main page is dimmed while you work with the header or footer.

Here are some simple ideas you can use in your headers and footers, built right into the Word page settings.

8. INSERTING THE DATE & TIME IN THE HEADER / FOOTER

1.  Double-left-click inside the top margin area or bottom margin area of the page.

2.  Position the cursor where you want the date or time to appear

3.  On the Header and Footer Tools ribbon click the Date & Time icon

Click the Date & Time icon on the Header and Footer Tools ribbon

4.  Choose a date or time format

5.  Click OK

Choose your preferred date and time format from the list

9. INSERTING THE FOLDER PATH AND/OR FILENAME IN THE
HEADER/FOOTER

1.  Double-left-click inside the top margin area or bottom margin area of the page

2.  Position the cursor where you want the file name and path to appear

3.  On the Header and Footer Tools ribbon click the Document Info icon

4.  Click File Name to insert just the file name

5.  Click File Path to insert the full path name from the drive letter, all the folders and sub-folders and finally the file name.

This policy is common in many companies to keep track of documents.

Insert the file name and path into the header and/or footer via the Document Info button, an integral part of the Word page settings

10. the key points

  • You change the Word page settings on the Layout ribbon.
  • You can set the margin sizes, the orientation and the paper size.
  • The headers and footers can be created by clicking Header or Footer icons on the Insert ribbon or by double-clicking in the header or footer area (i.e in the margin area)
  • There are several existing header and footer designs that can be selected from a gallery. Each header design has a matching footer design.
  • Many of the existing designs use document information (which is set up in the backstage and an integral part of the Word page settings).
  • You can manually add elements like page number, date / time and file name / file path. The Insert ribbon has icons for each of these. The same icons are available on the Header and Footer Tools which you see when you double-click in the header / footer area.

Please feel free to post any questions you have into the comments below. And before you leave this page, I want to give you one quick little action item! 

ACTION ITEM: Comment below with ONE thing you picked up from this post and share how it has helped, or will help, you. It's good to share your successes because it encourages others and provides an instant boost.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

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About Jason Morrell

About the author

Jason Morrell


Jason loves to simplify the hard stuff, cut the fluff and share what actually works. Things that make a difference. Things that slash hours from your daily work tasks. He runs a software training business in Queensland, Australia, lives on the Gold Coast with his wife and 4 kids and often talks about himself in the third person!

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