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Footers. They can be extremely helpful, and they can be annoyingly unruly. Two Microsoft Word Facebook fans faced some of these challenges last week and shared with the community. So, Christie and Rick, this blog post is dedicated to you.
Christie had the footer of the first page replicated all over the document, though she did not intend it to be so. Rick had another type of challenge, with a certain footer appearing on every other page. Argh! If there were only a "do what I mean" button... Well, there is. However, it's not as conveniently named, so I can certainly understand if you missed it.
In Word 2010 (and 2007) when you double-click the footer area or insert a footer from the Insert tab, a contextual tab opens on the ribbon that is called Header and Footer Tools:
On this tab, in the Options group, there are two check boxes that were designed with Christie and Rick in mind, respectively.
The first check box is Different First Page. When it's checked, this makes the footer of the first page different from the rest of the footers in the document. Changes to the first page's footer will not be reflected in the other pages, and vice versa.
The second check box is Different Odd & Even Pages. This is a great option for anyone who is interested in printing a double-sided bound document. That way, for example, you can have the page number on the left on all left pages and the page number on the right on all right pages -- just like in most books. However, if you want a consistent footer throughout the document, you should make sure this check box is not checked.
One more important thing to note about footers is their behavior when a new section is inserted. By default, they are linked to the previous section. So, let's say you are developing the cure for insomnia in the form of a long paper. The table of contents alone takes four pages, and you logically divide the document into different parts. In each, you want to use the header or the footer to let the reader know where she is along the journey.
The logical solution is to insert a section break at the end of each part (Page Layout tab, Page Setup group, Breaks, Section Break, Next Page). Alas, to your dismay, the footer (or header) remains the same. In that case, you did not turn off Link to Previous in the Navigation group on the Header and Footer Tools tab:
After you click this button to turn it off, the changes you make to the footer (or header) in either section will not affect the other.
So Christie and Rick, I hope this sheds some additional light on your recent footer dilemma. I love hearing from the community, so please keep the great questions coming.
For more information on headers and footers, check this list of blog posts. You can also learn more in the support section of Office.com:
Add or remove headers, footers, and page numbers - Word 2010
Header and footer basics - Word 2007
Headers and footers: From basic to elaborate - Word 2003
-- Tal Krzypow
Can anyone help me? I am creating a letterhead and want to include a filename field and page number on the second page. I have selected the different first page and have a different page number. However, if someone uses the template and then saves as their own document the filename pushes the page number to the second line.
Is there anyway I can make these fields stay in position even if the filename changes?
It sounds like what you are describing is not directly related to the different footers, but to text behavior within a footer. I assume that you are describing a situation where the file path is longer than the placeholder you have for it in your template, and that the page number is simply in the same line of the file name placeholder. There are multiple ways to address this, so a long file path does not push your page number to the second line. One such example is to create a table with one row and two columns, where you insert the file name field in one cell and the page number in the other. Through cell text alignment you can define their relative position. That way the position of the page number will not change even if the file name and path on the neighboring cell is long. You can see an example for a table in the header here: http://tinyurl.com/3atj8jb (scroll down to the “creating the document” section).
Hope that helps,
"Argh! If there were only a "do what I mean" button... "
Yeah, you don't know the half of it. The description here of how to do something as simple as different footers for odd and even pages is really pretty-- it just doesn't have anything to do with the actual behavior of the program.
At this point, if I click the odd & even page button, I get an uneditable number on the even pages. Oh, and a header that I decided not to use about four tries ago comes back. No, the remove header button has no effect on it. So this function, which would be damn handy for preparing a manuscript for print, would be great if the program would actually do this.
Add this to the list, next to 2010's refusal to save a style that I create and put the style on the list that I see when I open the program. Or the 472 other formatting glitches that it taunts me with. If I had only known, I would have done the extra shopping for an XP machine so that I could still run 2007. 2010 just makes me so damn angry.