Use a screen reader to create headers or footers in Word

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This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use Word 2016 with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to create a header or footer containing standard information on all pages of your document, such as page numbers, document title, company name, author, and date.

Notes: 

In this topic

Create a header or footer

Headers and footers are so popular in Word that they have their own toolbar.

  1. To create a header in your document, press Alt+N , and then press H to open the Header menu from the ribbon. Narrator does not announce the name of the menu.

    To create a footer, press Alt+N, and then press O to open the Footer menu from the ribbon. Narrator does not announce the name of the menu.

    Focus changes to the menu, which lists header or footer layouts.

  2. Use the Tab key or Down Arrow key to move through the list of layouts. Press Enter to select the one that you want.

    The layout you chose opens in the header and footer space in your document. Focus moves to the first editable text in the layout that you selected. You won't be able to edit the body of your document again until you close the Header & Footer Tools ribbon.

  3. Press the Right Arrow key to move focus on to the editable text area. You'll hear the placeholder text read aloud, such as "Document title" or "Type here."

  4. Type the text you want.

  5. To move to the next editable text area, if any, press the Right Arrow key.

  6. When you finish, press Alt+J, and then press C to close the Header and move to the body of the document.

Edit a header or footer

You can add any text you want to a header or footer, such as page numbers, a date, or a page number. You can also add an image, such as a company logo.

  1. To open and edit a header, press Alt+N, H, E.

    To open and edit a footer, press Alt+N, O, E.

    This moves focus to the header or footer, and opens the Header & Footer Tools ribbon.

  2. Make the changes that you want.

  3. When you finish, close the header or footer by pressing Alt+J, and then press C. Focus moves to the body of your document.

Add a page number to a header or footer

Word 2016 offers different locations and formats for page numbers as menu items on the Header & Footer Toolbar ribbon.

  1. To open a header for editing, press Alt+H, and then press E.

    To open a footer for editing, press Alt+F, and then press E.

    This opens the Header & Footer Toolbar, and moves focus to the header or footer.

  2. To insert a page number, press Alt+J, then N+U to open the Page Number menu.

  3. Use Down Arrow key to move through the list of possible page locations (top of page, bottom of page, and so on) for the page number. Press Enter or Spacebar to select the location you want.

    Each page location item opens an additional menu that offers options at that location. Use the Down Arrow key to browse through these options and select the one that you want

  4. When you finish, press ALt+J, and then press C to close the Header & Footer Toolbar ribbon and move focus back to the body of the document.

Add a date to the header or footer

  1. To open a header for editing, press Alt+H, and then press E.

    To open a footer for editing, press Alt+F, and then press E.

    This opens the Header & Footer Toolbar, and moves focus to the header or footer.

  2. To insert a date, press Alt+J, and then press D to open the Date and Time dialog box.

  3. Use the Down Arrow key to move through the list of possible date and time formats for the header or footer. When you find the format that you want, press the Tab key to select it and move to other options in the dialog box.

  4. In the language drop down box, press the Down Arrow key to review the installed languages. Press the Tab key to select a language and move to the next option.

  5. Press Enter if you want to set the date and language options as default.

  6. Press the Tab key to move to the OK button, and then press Enter to accept your choices.

  7. To close the header or footer and return to the body of the document, press Alt+J, and then press C.

Select an option from the Header & Footer toolbar

The Header & Footer Toolbar contains many options that you can use to customize a header.

  1. To open the Header & Footer Toolbar ribbon, press Alt+N, and then press H, E.

  2. To move to the ribbon, press Alt+J.

  3. Press the Tab key to move through the commands on the Header & Footer Toolbar.

  4. Press Enter to select a command.

  5. When you finish, close the header or footer and close the ribbon by pressing Alt+J, and then press C.

Remove a header or footer

  1. To remove a header in your document, press Alt+N, H to open the Header menu on the Insert tab.

    To remove a footer, press Alt+N, O to open the Footer menu on the Insert tab.

  2. Press R to remove the header or footer, then press the ESC key to return to the body of the document.

See also

Use a screen reader to add, read, and delete comments in Word

Use a screen reader to align text and paragraphs in Word

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word on Windows

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Use Word for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to create a header or footer containing standard information on all pages in your document, such as page numbers, document title, company name, author, and date.

Notes: 

In this topic

Create headers or footers

  1. In a Word document, press F6 repeatedly until you land on a tab. If you didn't land on the Insert tab, press the Right or Left arrow key until VoiceOver announces: "Insert, tab, 2 of 8." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to select the tab.

  2. Press Tab repeatedly until VoiceOver announces: "Header, menu button" or "Footer, menu button." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to select the button.

  3. Press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to enter the list of header or footer layouts.

  4. Press the arrow keys to navigate the options. Press Control+Option+Spacebar to select an option.

    The layout you chose opens in the header or footer space in your document. The focus stays on the ribbon.

  5. To navigate to your document, press Control+Option+Right arrow key, and the focus moves to the header or footer that you inserted.

  6. Type the text for the header or footer.

  7. To move to the next editable text area, if any, press the Right arrow key.

Edit headers or footers

  1. In a Word document, press Control+Option+Left or Right arrow key repeatedly to navigate to the header or footer.

  2. Select the text you want to change, using for example, Shift+Command+the arrow keys, and type the new header or footer.

  3. To move to the next header or footer, press Control+Option+Right arrow key until you reach the next one. VoiceOver announces your location.

Add a date to a header or footer

  1. In a Word document, press Control+Option+Right arrow key repeatedly to navigate to the header or footer.

  2. Press Control+Option+I to open Item Chooser. Type date & time. VoiceOver announces: "One item, Date & Time button." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to move to the button, and press Control+Option+Spacebar again to select the button.

  3. The Date and Time dialog with available format options opens. Press the Down arrow key to move to the list, and then Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to enter the list.

  4. Press the Down or Up arrow key to navigate the options in the list. To select an option, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  5. Press Tab repeatedly until VoiceOver announces: "OK, default, button." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to select the button.

    The date is added to the header or footer. The focus remains on the Header and Footer ribbon. To stop interacting with the ribbon, press Control+Option+Shift+Up arrow.

Customize headers and footers

The Header & Footer tab contains many options that you can use to customize a header or footer.

  1. Press Control+Option+M to go to the menu bar, and then press V to go to the View menu.

  2. Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the menu.

  3. Press the Down arrow key repeatedly until VoiceOver announces: "Header and Footer." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the header and footer for editing.

  4. To go to the Header & Footer tab, press F6 repeatedly until VoiceOver announces: "Header and Footer, selected, tab." Press the Tab key repeatedly to move to the ribbon.

    The first item on the ribbon is Header. To navigate through the other items on the ribbon, press the Tab key.

  5. To select an item, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  6. To close the tab and the header and footer when you're done, press Control+Option+I to open Item Chooser. Type close header. VoiceOver announces: "One item, Close Header and Footer button." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to move to the button, and press Control+Option+Spacebar again to select the button.

    The header, footer and Header & footer tab are closed, and the focus moves to the document body text.

Remove headers or footers

  1. In a Word document, press Control+Option+M to go to the menu bar, then press V to go to the View menu.

  2. Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the menu.

  3. Press the Down arrow key repeatedly until VoiceOver announces: "Header and Footer." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the header and footer for editing.

  4. To go to the Header & Footer tab, press F6 repeatedly until VoiceOver announces: "Header and Footer, selected, tab." Press the Tab key repeatedly to move to the ribbon.

    The first item on the ribbon is Header. VoiceOver announces: "Header, menu button." To navigate to Footer, press the Tab key. To select a button, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  5. Press the Down arrow key until VoiceOver announces: "Remove Header" or "Remove Footer."

  6. To remove the header or footer, press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  7. The header or footer is removed from your document.

    To close the tab and the header and footer, press Control+Option+I to open Item Chooser. Type close header. VoiceOver announces: "One item, Close Header and Footer button." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to move to the button, and press Control+Option+Spacebar again to select the button.

See also

Use a screen reader to align text and paragraphs in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word for Mac

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Technical Support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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