Microsoft Word FormatMicrosoft Word® has many tools that benefit the Real Estate/Property Management office. “Header & Footer” is one that assists in creating professional documentation.

What are “Headers and Footers”? Headers and Footers are areas located in the top and bottom margins of each page in a document to put text or graphics on a page and “protect it.” When you bring up a new Microsoft Word® document, it does already have a Header and Footer, but you do not see them because they are blank. Microsoft Word® puts the “Header and Footer” in a “background” behind the main document so that you can view the information but not disturb it unless you want to access it. Inserting page numbers are a good example of information placed in a header or footer. Microsoft Word® gives you a choice of where to place it, but once inserted, the number will not move around or delete as you type but will show on the page.

Why use a Header and/or Footer? One excellent use for the footer tool is documenting when you created your forms, letters, manuals, and more. Then as you revise them, you can add your revision dates. This is very useful to keep your policies and procedures organized. By using a revise date in your footer, you know when you last changed it and keep from using old copies. It can also help keep personnel from using old forms or outdated policies.

Another great use of a Header and Footer is creating company stationary. Instead of typing the information directly onto the page, you create a Header that has your logo, company name, address, telephone numbers, web site, etc. If you do not want all the information at the top, you put it into the Footer instead. You save your stationary as a Microsoft Word® document, but an even better way is save it as a template.

By creating “company stationary” in your computer, you do not have to send everything to the printer. You can fax or email your letters directly from your computer with a professional image, instead of a generic document. Save on filing by simply saving your document to a file for future reference. Printing stationary from the computer saves printing costs. Black and white letterhead can look great with your company information; color printers are even better.

Using the Header and Footer tool, you can also create “watermarks.” This is how you can put “sample” across a document or put your company name or logo in the background.

How do you create a Header and Footer? In Microsoft Word® 2003, open your document and go to “View/Header and Footer.” Automatically, a “toolbar” named Header and Footer will pop up, and you will see the Header. In Microsoft Word® 2007, go to Insert, and you can choose either Header or Footer.

Important tips for Header and Footer

  1. For detailed instructions on using Header and Footer, go to the Help function and type in Header and Footer. This brings up an entire list of options for working with Headers and Footers, and you can print them out for easier use.
  2. Everything works in a Header and Footer just as it does on the main document. Therefore, you can bold, underline, italicize, center, change the type and size of fonts, etc. in the Header and Footer.
  3. Using “text boxes” instead of just typing text assists placement of text; go to “insert/text box.” For more information, go to help and type “text box.”
  4. To put in your logo, use “Insert/Picture” and locate your logo file under My Documents or My Pictures.
  5. If you do not have a logo, use “WordArt” and create a great looking logo using your company name or initials.
  6. You do not have to put all your information in the “box” that shows up – you can make your Header or Footer as small or large as you wish. The box is simply a guideline.
  7. You can switch from Header to Footer and vice-versa when working on them.

If you are not currently using the Header and Footer tools, take the time to implement them, and improve your documents.

Jean Storms - Owner and Author of LandlordSource ProductsJean Storms, MPM® is the founder/author of LandlordSource and has been a NARPM® member since January 1993.

Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.