Tiplet: Quick access to the header/footer screen in Word (2007 and later)

November 21, 2009 at 8:38 am

Some weeks, I don’t have time for a lengthy article; on those occasions I’ll try to provide brief “tiplets” instead.

Here’s one: In Word 2007 (and later versions), the conventional way of creating (or editing) a header and/or a footer is to click the Insert tab, navigate to the Header & Footer group and click the Header or Footer drop-down, then use one of the templates in the gallery or click the “Edit Header” (or “Edit Footer”) command. After setting up or modifying the header and/or footer, people ordinarily click the “Close Header and Footer” button (the big red X) in the Header and Footer Tools tab.

That’s a lot of steps just to get into and out of the header and/or footer editing screen. And closing out of a header or footer and returning to the document text can be tricky because if you click a different tab in order to gain access to some other command while working on the header or footer, the “Close” button disappears.

Happily, there are easier ways to go back and forth between the body of the document and the header or footer editing screen. To go into the header editing screen — even before you’ve set up a header — just position the mouse pointer toward the top of any page (in the area where a header would appear) and double-click. The same method works for entering the footer editing screen, except that you need to position the mouse pointer toward the bottom of the page (in the footer area) before double-clicking.

To exit from a header or footer and resume working on the document itself, you can either double-click in the area between the header and footer screens or, if you prefer, double-click on the “label” or tab at the left side of the screen that says “Header” (or the one that says “Footer”). Either method should take you right back into the main document editing screen. Very convenient, especially when you can’t see the “Close” button.

Note that these methods might not work exactly the same way (if at all) in earlier versions of Word.

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