Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Creating Long Page Footers.

Creating Long Page Footers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 21, 2017)

Carolyn wonders if it is possible to create a footer that is more than 255 characters and goes from left to right across the entire page, similar to what can be done in Word.

The short answer is that there is no way to do this. In practice, getting the footer to go all the way across the page is not that difficult; what is difficult is getting it to contain more than 255 characters. This limit seems hard-coded into Excel. There are a few things you can try to work around the limitation, however.

First, you could simply "fake" a footer by putting what you want into cells that you then copy to the bottom of each page. This isn't terribly user-friendly, as moving and inserting rows can play havoc with where those "footer cells" are actually printed.

Another idea is to create your footer content using any cells in your worksheet, copy the cells to the Clipboard, and then paste them into your favorite image editing program as a picture. There you can size the picture to your liking and make any other changes necessary. Make sure you save the picture as a JPG file. Back in Excel you can create your custom footer by inserting that saved picture into any part of the footer.

Finally, you can use the old "two pass" technique with your printer. Create your footer in Word, as desired. Print a bunch of pages that consist of only the footer, place those pages back into your printer's paper tray, and then print your Excel worksheet. All you need to do is make sure that the bottom margin is set properly in Excel so that there is enough space left for the footer you printed from Word.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6688) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Creating Long Page Footers.

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. ...


Storing AutoText Entries with a Document

AutoText entries can provide quite a bit of flexibility and power in a document. If you want to share those entries with ...

Discover More

Marking Gender-Specific Grammar

Some people feel that your writing can be better if you remove gender-specific language it may contain. Here's how you ...

Discover More

Complex Searches for Documents

When working with lots of documents, you may have need from time to time to discover which of those documents contain ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Changing Section Headers

Add subtotals to a worksheet and you can instruct Excel to start each new subtotal section on a new printed page. You may ...

Discover More

Putting a Different Date in a Header

Today's date is easy to add to a header, but what if you want to add a date that is adjusted in some manner? Adding ...

Discover More

Moving Part of a Footer Down a Line

Setting up a single footer line for your printouts is fairly easy. If you want to move part of the footer down a line so ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.