Header and Footer Background Color

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 2, 2013)

Leonid asked if there was a way to set a background color for the header or footer of a page. The simple answer is that there isn't such a capability in Excel. There are a couple of ways around the issue, however. For instance, if you are using Excel 2002 or Excel 2003 you can add a graphic to a header or footer. With the right graphic, you can make it appear that the header and footer contain color when, in fact, it is the graphic that contains the color.

Another option is to make "fake" headers and footers. If all you want to do is have a different color header, then you can use the first couple of rows of the worksheet as your header. These rows you could format as desired, including setting the color of the rows. You could then instruct Excel to repeat those rows at the top of every page of the printout (us the Page Setup dialog box for this).

Repeating rows for the footer area becomes more problematic, as Excel doesn't include a feature that allows you to repeat rows at the bottom of each page. Creating a macro to add rows for the header and footer is possible, but it does result in a change to your worksheet—rows need to be added for the fake headers and footers.

As an example, consider the following macro. It assumes that you want one-inch borders on the left and right of the printout, and that you want to print only 46 rows per page. It sets the margins and then steps through the worksheet, adding the fake header and footer rows, as necessary. (Because the macro adjusts the design of the worksheet, make sure you save your worksheet before running the macro.)

Sub FakeHeaderFooter()
    Dim LHeader As String
    Dim CHeader As String
    Dim LFooter As String
    Dim CFooter As String
    Dim CBottom As Integer
    Dim CRow As Integer
    Dim PageSize As Integer
	
    LHeader = "Top Left"
    CHeader = "Top Center"
    LFooter = "Bottom Left"
    CFooter = "Bottom Center"
    PageSize = 46

    With ActiveSheet.PageSetup
        .PrintTitleRows = ""
        .PrintTitleColumns = ""
        .PrintArea = ""
        .LeftHeader = ""
        .CenterHeader = ""
        .RightHeader = ""
        .LeftFooter = ""
        .CenterFooter = ""
        .RightFooter = ""
        .LeftMargin = Application.InchesToPoints(1)
        .RightMargin = Application.InchesToPoints(1)
        .TopMargin = Application.InchesToPoints(0)
        .BottomMargin = Application.InchesToPoints(0)
        .HeaderMargin = Application.InchesToPoints(0)
        .FooterMargin = Application.InchesToPoints(0)
        .PrintHeadings = False
        .Orientation = xlPortrait
    End With

    CBottom = Range("A16000").End(xlUp).Row

    CRow = 1
    Do Until CRow > CBottom
        If CRow Mod PageSize = 1 Then
            Rows(CRow).Select
            Selection.Insert Shift:=xlDown
            Selection.Insert Shift:=xlDown
            CBottom = CBottom + 2

            Cells(CRow, 1).Value = LHeader
            Cells(CRow, 4).Value = CHeader
            Range(Cells(CRow, 1), _
              Cells(CRow, 8)).Interior.ColorIndex = 34
            Range(Cells(CRow + 1, 1), _
              Cells(CRow + 1, 8)).Interior.ColorIndex = xlNone
            CRow = CRow + 2
        ElseIf CRow Mod PageSize = PageSize - 1 Then
            Rows(CRow).Select
            Selection.Insert Shift:=xlDown
            Selection.Insert Shift:=xlDown
            CBottom = CBottom + 2

            Cells(CRow + 1, 1).Value = LFooter
            Cells(CRow + 1, 4).Value = CFooter
            Range(Cells(CRow + 1, 1), _
              Cells(CRow + 1, 8)).Interior.ColorIndex = 34
            CRow = CRow + 2
        Else
            CRow = CRow + 1
        End If
    Loop

    LastPageNumber = PageNumber + 1
    LastRow = LastPageNumber * PageSize
    If CBottom <> LastRow Then
            Range(Cells(LastRow, 1), _
              Cells(LastRow, 8)).Interior.ColorIndex = 34
            Cells(LastRow, 1).Value = LFooter
            Cells(LastRow, 4).Value = CFooter
    End If

    CBottom = Range("A16000").End(xlUp).Row

    CRow = 2
    Do Until CRow > CBottom
        If CRow Mod PageSize = 1 Then
            Cells(CRow, 1).PageBreak = xlManual
        End If
        CRow = CRow + 1
    Loop
End Sub

To change the number of lines per page, just change the value assigned to the PageSize variable. You can also change what appears in the "header" and "footer" area by changing what is assigned to the LHeader, CHeader, LFooter, and CFooter variables.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3056) 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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