applied tips : may 2008

microsoft powerpoint : slide headers and footers

Learn to love slide headers and footers, helping keep your slides consistent with ease.

Now that your PowerPoint presentations are getting so popular, wouldn’t it be a good idea to start putting your name on them? And what about the date?  And maybe slide numbers?

Long presentations often have information such as the slide number, the title, or the date located at the top or bottom of every slide. Text or objects that appear at the top of every slide appear in a header, while text or objects at the bottom of each slide or page appear in a footer.

Let’s get started

Select View > Header and Footer from the menu. The Header and Footer dialog box will appear, as shown on the back.

Notice that the Header and Footer dialog box has two tabs: a Slide tab and a Notes and Handouts tab. Because PowerPoint produces two types of output (slides and handouts), each gets its own separate set of headers and footers.

Inserting slide footers

Checking the Date and Time box in the Header and Footer dialog box adds the date in the bottom left corner of your slides. There are two different options for displaying the date:

Add your own text to the slide footer by checking the footer box and typing in the text box.

If you want the slide number to appear on your slide, make sure its respective box is checked. You might also want to make note of the “Don’t show on title slide” check box located at the bottom of the Header and Footer dialog box. Check this box if you do not want a slide footer to be inserted onto your title slide. 

Notes and handouts

Now let’s check out the Notes and Handouts tab of the Header and Footer dialog box.

At first, the Notes and Handouts tab looks almost identical to the Slides tab, but look closely—there’s also a place to add a header to your presentation’s notes and handouts.

Treat this header text box just as you would the footer text box: make sure the box is checked and then type away!

Being picky

Like so many other formatting options in PowerPoint, you can apply the header and footer to only selected slides or to all the slides in your presentation.

To apply options only to selected slides, click the Apply button in the Header and Footer dialog box, instead of the Apply to All button. The Apply to All button puts the footers you’ve specified on every slide (except the title slide, if you have selected this option).

So what happens if you want only the date and footer text to appear on the title slide, and only the slide number to appear on the rest of the slides? First you need to select the title slide, set the specified options in the Header and Footer dialog box, then click Apply.

Next, select all the other slide thumbnails (not the title slide), select the specified options in the Header and Footer dialog box (making sure to clear all previous settings), and then click Apply. 

Formatting Headers and Footers

To apply formatting to slides, notes or handouts:

  1.  Select View > Master from the menu. Then choose the item you want to work with: Slide Master or Handout Master or Notes Master.
  2.  Right-click the header or footer you want to apply formatting to.
  3.  Select Font from the shortcut menu to change the font size and style, or select Format Placeholder from the shortcut menu to add fill color and effects.
  4.  Click the Color list arrow in the Fill section of the Colors and Lines tab to make your changes.

Finishing up

Applying Headers and Footers to your slides, notes and handouts is fast, easy, and most importantly, effective. Keep the simple stuff simple, but make it stand out with headers and footers.

schedule a class on powerpoint

Request an on-site PowerPoint class from Applied Office. Sessions are inexpensive and your employees will be creating amazing slideshows in no time!  Learn more here

upcoming class on powerpoint

A class on Microsoft PowerPoint is scheduled at University of the Pacific, and you can attend!  Review the Upcoming Classes for more information.

quick reference card

Get the Quick Reference Card on Microsoft PowerPoint! Download it for free and print it on your own printer. You might even want to laminate it.