Full Path Names in Headers or Footers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 23, 2013)

Excel allows you to insert many different items in the header or footer of your spreadsheet (as you can see in other ExcelTips). Unfortunately, one of the items you cannot easily add is the full path name of your spreadsheet file. You can, however, add the path name to the header or footer by using a macro, such as the following one:

Sub DoPath()
'   Inserts the file name and path in the footer
'   of each worksheet in the active workbook
    For Each sheet In ActiveWorkbook.Sheets
        sheet.PageSetup.CenterFooter = ActiveWorkbook.FullName
    Next sheet
End Sub

To use this, simply run it and it adds the full path and file name for your spreadsheet file into the center section of the footer. It does this for every worksheet in your workbook. If you want the information added to a different place in the footer or header, you simply replace the CenterFooter portion of the macro with one of the following: LeftFooter, RightFooter, LeftHeader, CenterHeader, or RightHeader.

As noted, the above macro changes the header or footer for each worksheet in your workbook. If you only want to change the current worksheet, you can use the following abbreviated version of the macro:

Sub DoOnePath()
'   Inserts the file name and path in the footer
'   of the active worksheet
    ActiveSheet.PageSetup.CenterFooter = ActiveWorkbook.FullName
End Sub

You should note that unlike other items you stick in the header or footer, the path and file name inserted by these macros are not "dynamic." Thus, if you move the spreadsheet file to a different directory or save it under a different name, you need to run the macro again.

While the above solutions work just fine in all versions of Excel, if you are using Excel 2002 you should know that there is an even easier way to add the path name to the header or footer. Microsoft finally heard the requests of users, and added a button to the Header and Footer dialog boxes that allows you to insert both the path and file name of a workbook. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the worksheet whose header or footer you want to change.
  2. Choose Page Setup from the File menu. Excel displays the Page Setup dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Header/Footer tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Header/Footer tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

  5. Click on either the Custom Header or Custom Footer buttons, as desired. Word displays either the Header or Footer dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Header or Footer dialog box.

  7. Position the insertion point in the Left Section, Center Section, or Right Section boxes, as desired.
  8. Click on the File button. (It looks like a file folder with a piece of paper sticking out.) Excel inserts the following code at the insertion point:
     &[Path]&[File]
  1. When you print the worksheet, Excel replaces the codes with the path name and the file name of the workbook, respectively.
  2. Click on OK two times to close both dialog boxes.

Unlike the macro solution provided earlier in this tip, the new header and footer codes provided in Excel 2002 are dynamic. If you rename or relocate your workbook file, the information in the header or footer will change the next time you print.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2639) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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