Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Quickly Formatting Footers in Documents with Many Sections.

Quickly Formatting Footers in Documents with Many Sections

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 14, 2016)

Jake has a document that is created automatically by a program other than Word. The document has many pages in it, but each page is created as a separate section. Jake is looking for a way to quickly format the document so that the headers and footers are the same, beginning with the second section of the document. (The first page, which is also its own section, contains a cover sheet.)

You can make the necessary changes manually by following these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+Home to go to the beginning of your document.
  2. Choose Header and Footer from the View menu so you can see the Header and Footer dialog box. The Header and Footer dialog box should display the header for the first section of your document.
  3. Click the Show Next button. This displays the header for the second section of the document.
  4. Make changes to the header so it looks like you want it to look.
  5. Click the Show Next button. This displays the header for the next (third) section of the document.
  6. Click Link to Previous. You'll see a dialog box asking if you want to delete this header and link to the previous section. Click Yes.
  7. Repeat steps 5 through 6 until you work through all the headers in the document.
  8. Close the Header and Footer dialog box.

If you have quite a few headers in your document, these steps can take a while to perform. You'll also need to perform them for all the footers in the document. (The only caveat is that you must switch to display the footers either before or after step 3.) If you have to routinely do this with many documents, then the process becomes even more tedious.

The solution for the tedium is to create a macro that will do the necessary changes for you. Consider the following macro:

Sub MakeSame()
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim K As Integer

    If ActiveDocument.Sections.Count > 2 Then
        For J = 3 To ActiveDocument.Sections.Count
            For K = 1 To ActiveDocument.Sections(J).Headers.Count
                ActiveDocument.Sections(J).Headers(K).LinkToPrevious = True
            Next K
            For K = 1 To ActiveDocument.Sections(J).Footers.Count
                ActiveDocument.Sections(J).Footers(K).LinkToPrevious = True
            Next K
        Next J
    End If
End Sub

The macro checks to see if there are at least three sections in the document. If there are, then it begins to make changes starting with the third section. It steps through all the headers and footers for each section, making sure that they are set to be the same as the previous section.

Once you are done running this macro, just display the Header and Footer dialog box for the second section and make sure the header and footer are set the way you want.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (219) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Quickly Formatting Footers in Documents with Many Sections.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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