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Creating Template Headers and Footers

Nearly every business template includes headers and footers. I once shaped a rough draft for a colleague at his request and did not bother to format it, thinking that he just needed text. Bringing it to him so that he could review the copy, I found that it was to be distributed to 12 people, who were all going to read it in a meeting. My colleague looked at me in horror. "It has no headers or footers," he said.

The moral of that story is that you should never write a rough draft in a business setting without formatting it as if it were the real thing. More to the point, most people believe headers and footers are formatting, so if you have saved a template with headers and footers, you can open a document with that template, and your headers and footers are ready to go—even for rough drafts.

If you cannot see your header space in Word, click Header and Footer on the View menu, and the space displays. It is ready for you to type the important information that goes in a header for the kind of document your template addresses: title, author's name, company name, logo, address, chapter title, department name, or filename (to mention a few). If you do not put anything else in your header or footer, put in a page number. Please.

But before you type anything in that nice empty header space, click Page Setup on the File menu and then click the Layout tab. Select the check box that sets up a Different first page for headers and footers. A different header and footer on the first page is nearly always necessary, and if you type up a nice header on Page 1 before you remember to change this setting, clicking this box erases it.

When you view the header and footer in your document, the menu bar appears, as shown in Figure 4, making it easy to add things such as page numbers. Just be sure that as soon as you add a page number, you ensure that you have altered the font from the default.

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