Tips & Tricks

Applying Headers and Footers in Acrobat 7

April 12, 2005

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Along with assigning page numbers to documents, you can add precise headers and footers to the pages. When adding them in Acrobat, you should avoid using source documents with visible headers and footers to prevent confusion. Let's add some footer information, including custom text, to a sample document:

  1. From the main program menu, choose Document > Add Headers & Footers. The Add Headers & Footers dialog opens (Figure 80a). Headers and footers use individual tabs in the dialog; each contains the same options. First, click the Footer tab. At the top of the dialog are three text entry boxes, which will hold the content that you want to be left-justified, centered, or right-justified on the document page.

Add Headers & Footers dialog


Figure 80a. Add custom headers and footers to a document to provide a unified appearance.

  1. Choose the font and font size from the pull-down lists below the header/footer content boxes. You have to preview the page to see font effects -- they aren't displayed in the dialog.
  2. Make entries in the Insert fields as desired. The example uses a date, page numbering, and custom text, shown in Figure 80a. Before adding either an automatic entry or custom text, click the text entry box where you want to add the content on the dialog:
    • To insert the date or page numbers, click the Style pull-down list under the Insert Date or Insert Page Number option, respectively, choose a format, and click Insert.
    • To add custom text, click the text entry box where you want to add the text (left, center, or right) and type.
    The final layout shows the blocks of text in the correct areas. To remove text, select it in the text box and press the Delete key.
  3. In the Page Options section, make selections as required for your document. You can specify page ranges, page numbering and the starting number to use for page numbering, margins, and whether to use even or odd pages only. To use a nonstandard value for the margin settings, type the number in the field. The value you set for the top margin applies to headers; the bottom margin value applies to footers.
  4. Click the Preview button at the bottom of the dialog to see the layout of the footer elements in a pop-up Preview window. You can see the selected font and font as well if the font size is large enough (Figure 80b). Click OK to close the Preview window.

Footer preview


Figure 80b. Preview the page before closing the dialog.

  1. Click OK to close the dialog and apply the footer. The content and numbering are applied to the page in the area specified.

Modifying Headers & Footers

To modify headers or footers after you've applied them to the document, choose Document > Add Headers & Footers, then make the changes. Be sure the option Replace existing headers and footers on these pages is checked. When you click OK to close the dialog, a popup dialog asks you to confirm the changes; click OK again and your headers and footers are modified. If you want to delete a header or footer, open the dialog, select the text in the text entry boxes, and delete it; then click OK to close the dialog. The header or footer will disappear. You can also edit the content using the TouchUp Text tool (covered in Tips 84 and 85).

Fun with Headers & Footers

Experimenting with headers and footers can be an interesting and useful way to guide readers through your document. This book, for example, displays either the chapter or tip title in the footer, depending on the page number. You can duplicate the same look in Acrobat.

In the Add Headers & Footers dialog, enter the footer information for the right-hand, odd-numbered pages into the right-aligned field. Choose Odd Pages Only from the Alternation listing in the Page Options area of the dialog and click OK to apply.

For the left-hand pages, reopen the dialog and repeat with the even-numbered page information, choosing Even Pages Only from the Alternation listing, and entering text in the left-aligned field.

Excerpted from "Adobe Acrobat 7 Tips & Tricks: The 150 Best" by Donna Baker. Copyright (C) 2005. Used with the permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and Adobe Press.

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