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MSWord - Best way to align headers and footers

Posted on 2007-03-26
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Last Modified: 2008-08-29
MS Word 2002 SP3

The word documents I typically have headers and footers as follows:
Header - two logos, one aligned to left edge and one aligned to right edge
Footer - date,"Confidential",Page X of Y left, centre and right aligned respectively.

The alignment is done using a single tab with a centre/right alignment and a custom tab stop position.

The issue is this - if I switch the page layout from portrait to landscape the alignment of the headers is no longer correct.  I then need to break the header/footer linkage between the headers on this page and previous/subsequent pages and reset the tab stop positions.

If I have a doc that switches from portrait to landscape a couple of times this becomes a real pain.

So my question is - is there a better way of aligning the items in the header/foot so that they will automatically change if the page is switched to landscape?  A 2 or 3 column, single row table?
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Question by:PaschalNee
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Expert Comment

by:EricFletcher
ID: 18797835
When you switch to landscape, don't you want your header/footers to continue running in their binding orientation? (i.e. the page content turns 90º but the header/footers stay at the "top" and "bottom" of the page.) This is more normal for dealing with landscape content within books, but it is challenging--and will add another layer of complication for your sections beyond just the tab locations.

To do this, you can keep the tab strategy you are using, but put the header/footers within text boxes for the landscape pages. This lets you reposition them and set the text to run at 90º.

As for dealing with the "pain", I always create a macro to ensure the process is done consistently within a given publication.
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Author Comment

by:PaschalNee
ID: 18799302
>When you switch to landscape, don't you want your header/footers to continue running in their
>binding orientation? (i.e. the page content turns 90º but the header/footers stay at the "top" and
>"bottom" of the page.)
Yes, I want the headers to continue running in their binding orientation

My issue is illustrated by this example
http://toombeola.com/example.doc

The headers/footers on the first page are fine.  When I switch the second section to landscape the headers /footers no longer align as I'd like.   I then need to break the header/footer linkage between the headers on this page and previous/subsequent pages and reset the tab stop positions.  Tedious if the document flips from portrait to landscape a lot.

So is there a better way?
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EricFletcher earned 250 total points
ID: 18800906
No. Word isn't designed to be a page layout program, although it can do a pretty acceptable job if you are careful to plan it out and be rigorous in how you approach it.

For your example, I would set up a macro to set everything needed for a new landscape section. You may need to consider how to deal with odd/even and different first page headers and footers so there is a lot to consider -- and it is easy to miss something if you do it manually each time. What my macro typically does is roughly as follows:

If I have something selected, I use it as the content to be set landscape; otherwise I create dummy content as a placeholder for what I will put in later. I include two page breaks to ensure that I will have placeholders for the different possible 3 layout options (odd, even, first). With the content selected, I can then use File | Page setup to set the selection in landscape -- and also to get a section break before and after.

I then disconnect the header/footers from each other, starting at the last set and moving towards the front so I don't need to redefine the ones after the landscape pages. I can then deal with the landscape ones on their own.

To set the header, I select its content and use Insert | Text box, then use Format | Text direction to make it run 90º. I can then use the Format | Text Box dialog to remove borders, set the dimensions, and use Layout's Advanced dialog to specify exactly where I want it relative to the page dimensions.

Repeat the same for the footer, and make sure to repeat for the odd/even ones if that is needed.

As you can tell, this isn't a trivial exercise, and there are lots of steps to potentially mess up. A recorded macro can do all of it, and for ad hoc projects, is probably sufficient. However, if you need it frequently, VBA code would manage it more efficiently and give you the option to customize it for different dimensions of page layout.

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Author Comment

by:PaschalNee
ID: 18801042
>As you can tell, this isn't a trivial exercise
That's what I thought :-(
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Expert Comment

by:Let's Go
ID: 18821075
Hi, PaschalNee

I have found the problem you raised to be an ongoing source of annoyance.

If you do write a VBA program as EricFletcher described, I for one would appreciate it if you would post your code here.  

If anyone at Microsoft is listening, it would be a very useful feature to be able to have separate Portrait/Landscape headers and footers, similar to the existing facility to have separate headers for the first page and the remainder of the section.
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Expert Comment

by:EricFletcher
ID: 18824170
I'd second that pfsnet! Anybody at Microsoft listening?

I'd prefer to let the page header/footers stay the same and just be able to have specified content set in landscape on th page(s). This is a fairly common requirement in preparing reports and books, and having to redefine sections is a clumsy (and error-prone) way to do it. I've sometimes reverted to going through the hassle of preparing landscape tables set up as graphics already rotated 90º just so I can place them more easily.

Of course, using this approach almost guarantees that someone will find some tiny little edit needed which means you need to go back to the original and recreate the whole graphic... ;-)
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