Headers and Footers in Excel 2007

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In the post last week on Page Layout view, some of you may have noticed the words “Click to add header” in a few of the screenshots, which was a hint that there have been some changes in headers and footers in Excel 2007.  I am going to review those changes, as well as a few other minor printing tweaks, in this post.

When we added Page Layout view to Excel, we wanted to make it easier for users to see their work within the context of a printed page, thereby simplifying the process of getting work ready to be printed.  An important part of that process is adding headers and footers.  Accordingly, we added the ability for users to simply click on their headers and type what they wanted to see, without having to navigate the “Customer Headers and Footers” dialog that exists in current versions of Excel.  Let’s take a look at how this works.

Here is a sample document (in this case my to-do list prettied up a bit, but you get the idea) in page layout view.  The basic formatting is done, and now I just want to add a header and footer.

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As I move my mouse over the “Click to add header” region of the page, I get some feedback that allows me to start adding content. 

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First, Excel shows me that there are three regions where I can add content (left, centre, right, as in current versions of Excel).  Second, the region under my mouse turns grey, which gives me some further feedback that something might happen if I click my mouse button.  All I need to do to add a customer header is click and type.

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At this point, it is as easy as typing and formatting.  Also, you may have noticed that a contextual tab – Headers and Footers Tools – appeared, which contains all the tools (other than text formatting) that I can use when working with Headers and Footers in Excel.  For example, you can pick from galleries of pre-defined headers and footers, navigate between headers and footers, and insert things like the date or page numbers.

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As you may have noticed from looking at the Headers and Footers Tools tab, we have added some new functionality to headers and footers as well, so I want to review that quickly.  In no particular order,

  • Colored text in headers and footers – headers and footers now support colored text formatting

  • Different first page – this setting allows users to specify a unique header and footer for the first page … this is useful for reports with title pages or tables of contents where the header or footer might need to be different
  • Different odd and even pages – similar to the “first page” setting, this setting allows users to specify unique headers and footers for odd and even pages … this is useful when creating book-style reports
  • Align with page margins – users can now choose to align their header and footer margins to the page margin
  • Scale with the document – this setting allows headers and footers to ignore the page scaling set for a given sheet …this is useful for multi-sheet reports that have different scaling percentages for pages but where the user would like consistent headers and footers
  • Finally, everything I just covered is true for footers too, so they are also as easy as clicking and typing.

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    A few other printing improvements

    There are a couple of other small changes I want to point out, because they come up in conversations with customers.  First, Excel 2007 will no longer will create multiple print jobs when printing multiple copies of a document when printer collating is turned on.  You knew you hit this problem when you printed 20 copies of a document and found 20 banner pages, 1 between each copy of the Excel work you printed.  Second, we have added an “Ignore Print Areas” checkbox on the Print dialog, which allows users to print their entire sheet without having to remove their print areas first.

    (Click to enlarge)

    That’s it for today.  Tomorrow, I will start on charting.