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: Protecting Headers and Footers.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 21, 2017)
There may be times when you want to place information in a header or footer and have that information protected so a user cannot change it. For instance, you might want to ensure exact placement of text, a specific text treatment (font, size, etc.), or the inclusion of a graphic.
There are several ways to go about protecting this information. If you like macros, you could develop macros that place the information in the header or footer just before printing. This means, of course, that your macros effectively replace the existing printer-related commands used by Word. Such an approach could be a Pandora's Box, with changing one command leading necessarily to the change of another.
Perhaps the simplest answer is to place the header and footer in its own section and protect that section from changes. You can do that by following these general steps:
When you save your document, you can save it either as a regular document or as a template. Your header and footer information is now protected from unauthorized changes. The rest of the document can readily be changed.
When you protect a document in this manner, Word disables some tools so they cannot be used. You will need to test this solution in your environment to ensure that the lack of functionality is an acceptable trade-off to the protection offered to your header and footer.
There is one caveat to this: if your goal in doing the protection was to keep someone from accessing a graphic, rest assured that if someone can display the graphic on the screen, they can get it. That means that they can do a Print Preview operation, copy the screen to the Clipboard, and then use their favorite graphics editing program to extract the graphic. Unfortunately, there is no way around this, short of rewriting a couple of Word commands as mentioned earlier in this tip.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1696) 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: Protecting Headers and Footers.
Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!
Need some specific text to appear just below the end of the text on the last page of your document? You can accomplish ...Discover More
When creating headers or footers, you might notice at some time that the "Insert AutoText" tool on the Header and Footer ...Discover More
When working with existing documents, you may need to delete a header or footer previously created. Here's how you can do ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.