MS PowerPoint: Headers and Footers Demystified – Part 3

MS PowerPoint: Headers and Footers Demystified – Part 3

Welcome back to our ongoing header and footer discussion! The previous two issues covered the two big MS Office Suite programs (Word & Excel). Now it’s time to wrap up our discussion by addressing PowerPoint.

You will get to the header and footer window in the same way you did in the other two programs: View menu, Header and Footer choice. (This is one of the good things about working with a suite of programs—they tend to be somewhat consistent within the suite.)

Once you open the Header and Footer window, you should find two tabs at the top: the Slide tab and the Notes and Handouts tab.


Two? Two? Why two? You see, in PowerPoint, you have two different types of header and footer sets.

One set is displayed on the slide(s) during the slide show. While, the second set of headers and footers are for the printed notes and/or handouts you may choose to use along with your slide show.

Let’s begin with the slide headers and footers.

As you begin to explore this tab, you will find that the only things you can set here are in the footer of the slide. You are allowed to set the date and time, slide number and a field known as the footer.

For each option you select, you will see in the preview pane a black box showing the placement of the data you’ve entered. If you deselect an option, you will notice that the box is outlined but not filled in.


First option up is the date and time. Once you select this option, you will need to choose between a form that is updated automatically or a fixed format.

Should you choose automatic updates you need to select one of the options from the drop-down list.

If you want fixed information in this field, you should type something into the data box. (The box becomes available after you select fixed.) The data is displayed in the bottom left of the slide.

The next check-box is to choose slide numbering. If you uncheck the box, your slide(s) will not be numbered. (If you have a show that is non-linear, that is, it jumps around through buttons and is not shown sequentially—you may want to consider turning off the slide numbers. After all, it confuses most people when they jump from slide 3 to slide 9 then back to 6.) This data is displayed in the bottom right of the slide.

Footer data is the third option you can choose to use. If you choose this option you can type whatever data you choose into the data box. This will be displayed in the center bottom of the slide.

Finally, at the bottom, be sure to check the box if you do not want the footer information on the title (first) slide.

Now that all the data decisions are made you’ve got one more.

You have to decide where to apply the data.

If you click on the Apply to All button, then all slides, including the master, will have the data you’ve chosen.

The button labeled Apply will put the data on the currently selected slide(s) only. (For a method of selecting some, but not all, slides see the Office 101 tip above.)

The Cancel button will take you out of the Header and Footer window without saving any of your changes. If you use this one, make sure you mean it. How aggravating is it to reset the same data again and again?

The Notes and Handouts tab is pretty much the same as the Slide tab.

You’ll find four data options for these printed pages: Date and Time (fixed or updated automatically), Header (data you type in), Page Number and Footer (data you type in).


Notice that the choices you’ve selected are outlined darkly and any choices you’ve deselected will have a thin outline.

(You’ll find that it all works pretty much the same as the slide footers.)

Once the data decisions are complete you only have two choices. First you can choose Apply to All, which puts the data on all printed pages. Second, you can choose to cancel, loosing all the data.

Choices, choices, choices! So many choices, so little time…

Well, there it is! Now you can become a header and footer expert.

~ April

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