Excel Tip: Add visuals to your headers and footers

Since Excel XP it has been possible to insert a picture into a custom header or footer. Our sister site, AccountingWEB.co.uk investigated some potential uses for this facility.

Excel's View-Header/Footer menu option will take you to the Header/Footer section of the Page Setup screen. Clicking on the Custom Header or Custom Footer button presents you with three sections: Left, Center and Right. As well as typing text or using buttons to insert useful details such as page numbers, date, time and file and sheet references, Excel XP and later versions also include an Insert Picture button, and a Format Picture button to format the picture once inserted. Each of the three sections can incorporate a single picture making for a total of six pictures in all – three in the header and three in the footer.


The approach is not particularly visual – the header or footer section just displays &[Picture]. However the Format Picture dialog lets you change the size of the picture and also lets you crop it by entering measurements from each edge. In addition, the Image control allows you to change the brightness and contrast or choose one of the presets – such as Washout – which could be used if you wanted to use a picture as a watermark. Pictures can't be pasted in, but must be selected as a saved file.

In order to leave enough room for your chosen picture (unless you want it to sit behind the normal spreadsheet content as a watermark), you may need to adjust the top or bottom margins via the Page Setup screen.

In Excel 2007 the new Page Layout view (View tab, Workbook Views section, Page Layout; or Page Layout view button on the status bar) provides a much more visual approach, although with the same limitations to the picture selection and formatting process.

When in Page Layout view you simply need to click in one of the three header sections to open the Header & Footer Tools contextual tab containing all the required tools. Clicking outside that section will then immediately display the result, rather than needing you to go to Print Preview. Here we've inserted a 'Washed Out' picture in the left section as a watermark and inserted a logo in the center section:

You may like these other stories...

No field likes its buzzwords more than technology, and one of today's leading terms is "the cloud." But it's not just a matter of knowing what's fashionable. Accounting professionals who know how to use...
There is a growing trend of accountants moving away from traditional compliance work to more advisory work. Client demand is there, but it is up to the accountants to capitalize on that. What should accountants' roles be...
 Event Date: April 24, 2014 In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel. David will introduce the Macro Recorder, which transforms actions...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 17
In this exciting presentation Excel expert David H. Ringstrom, CPA shares tricks that you can use with pivot tables every day. Remember, either you work Excel, or it works you!
Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.