Software

Office challenge: Where'd my document's header go?

This week, test your Microsoft Word skills by solving the mystery of the disappearing header.

A user calls to complain that his header has disappeared. He can't access it on screen because it's just not there - it's been chopped off! How do you respond?

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

18 comments
Mr. Fix
Mr. Fix

Glad someone has finally raised this issue! I encountered this problem right after installing MS Office Professional Plus 2010. Having always preferred the "Print Layout" mode, I was perplexed to discover that the headers and footers were now notably missing in "Print Layout" mode (yes, that's what I said!) by default. Right and left margins were fine but the top and bottom margins were only visible in "Print Preview" or after initiating the header/footer editor. I could change this but new documents, of course, always reverted to "headless". Very annoying. As the problem clearly rested with my global template "Normal.dotm", I simply modified it and the problem was resolved. You should find it at C:\Users\[my_accnt]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates (substituting an account name for "[my_accnt]"). As I recall, all I had to do was right-click to modify it via the "Open" option, select the "Insert" tab, click on the "Header" icon to make the header and footer visible, then save.

jt
jt

The Header is not visible in all view modes (e.g. Web Layout). Advise the user (how to) change to Print Layout mode.

glnz
glnz

The two main reasons why Word is a terrible, horrible program for lawyers and others with long documents are: styles and section breaks. Your header disappeared? That's because you deleted a section break, thinking the preceding section's headers, footers, etc. would survive. Not! You just deleted the preceding section's header! Whenever you delete a section break, all hell breaks loose. I have never been able to find a way to delete a section break without ruining the PRECEDING section's settings - have you? Word is a terrible, terrible program. If you ever see a pic of Bill Gates with a black eye, you'll know I finally had a chance to give him my thanks.

konthra7
konthra7

I know this is the wrong answer, but I'd say point and laugh

jody.burton
jody.burton

I saw the title of the challenge and thought I might find the answer to something that has me perplexed. I have a header that includes our company logo (.jpg inserted) and text. On-screen, I can plainly see the header in all of it's glory. When I print it, no logo and the only part of the text that is printed is an em dash. I suspect that is a clue to the solution. I have tried changing the text wrapping property of the logo and changing the font color of the text. Neither made any difference. I never encountered this in Word 2003, but I now have 2 documents affected by this in Word 2010. One was converted from an older 2003 document and the other was a newly created document in 2010.

zimmerwoman
zimmerwoman

I tried to fix my 2007 document so that I could not see headers and footers when I was looking at print layout and couldn't do it. I'm going out on limb here and saying this person is looking at the document in draft, web layout or outline mode. I was able to disappear the headers and footers in those selections.

jeffrey.bollman
jeffrey.bollman

In Print Layout: 1. Move the mouse to the top of the visible page. 2. The mouse pointer will change to a unique double-headed arrow. 3. Double-click when the double-headed arrow displays. 4. The header will auto-magically reappear.

eljensen
eljensen

If the user is working in Draft View, I would check to see if the page display has been changed so that it is not showing the space between pages. If that is the case, the headers and footers are not visible. To check this (and change this), the user can either hover over the line indicating the break in pages (or at the very top of the document) until she gets a bordered double arrow and then double click, or she can go to File -> Options -> Display and check the very top box under Page Display Options ("Show shite space between pages in Print Layout view"). The user might also be working in another page view where headers aren't visisble, such as Outline view or Draft view.

etpapa
etpapa

By positioning your cursor in the section to be removed but retain the section breaks above it, break the association first before removing the sections break. Click in the header where you want to change or remove the header/footer, then click the Link to Previous to break the association. You can now begin a new or blank header/footer without distrubing the section breaks above it.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Perhaps the logo's in color and your color cartridge is empty? I use an expensive Lexmark at home and that would explain it for me.

SueGreene
SueGreene

In 2010 documents you need to be sure that you have clicked the box for "show document text" otherwise it won't appear. Also be sure your margins allow for a header and/or a footer.

Jessica-Jean
Jessica-Jean

@jeffrey.bollman THANK YOU!  This worked! 

Now, just what key did I trip over that made the headers/footers vanish from view?

EdwardsL77
EdwardsL77

The above statement should read, "If the user is working in Print Layout view..." because Draft view does not display the white space between the pages.

RosaNegra
RosaNegra

Interesting that the question was posed with a user of the male gender, but you chose to answer assigning the female gender to the role of the one who couldn't figure it out.

jbenton
jbenton

...that would be my first notion too It may also be that the document doesn't have one yet. In Word 2003, from print layout view, (which is what we all use anyway) you just need to click 'View', 'Header and Footer' and you're there

jody.burton
jody.burton

The logo prints, but not the text except for the em-dash. Thanks for the suggestions. I applied Sue Green's remedies. "Show document text" was already checked. The margins were both short and narrow. Even after expanding them, no text. I went so far as to make sure there was no overlap of the logo & text and tried moving the text box to the front. The printer is a network-shared Xerox color document center. Same result in color or B&W. I need to try another printer on the network (no local printer.)

eljensen
eljensen

I probably chose the female gender because that's what I am.

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