Use a screen reader to create headers or footers in Word

Decorative icon. Screen reader content

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

Use Word with your keyboard and a screen reader to create a header or footer that contains standard information on all pages in your document, such as page numbers, document title, company name, author, and date. We have tested it with Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

Notes: 

In this topic

Create 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. Do one of the following:

    • To create a header in your document, press Alt+N, H. With Narrator, you hear "Built-in, blank," followed by the number of available header types. With JAWS and NVDA, you hear: "Header list box, built-in." 

    • To create a footer, press Alt+N, O. With Narrator, you hear "Built-in, blank," followed by the number of available footer types. With JAWS and NVDA, you hear: "Footer list box, built-in."

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

  2. Use the Tab key or the 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. The 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 ribbon.

  3. Press the Right arrow key to move the 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. To exit the header or footer and return to the document body, press Alt+J, H, C.

Edit a header or footer

  1. Do one of the following:

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

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

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

  2. Make the changes that you want.

  3. To exit the header or footer and return to the document body, press Alt+J, H, C.

Add a page number to a header or footer

  1. To insert a page number, press Alt+N, N, U. The Page Number menu opens.

  2. Use the 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 press Enter to select the one you want.

  3. To exit the header or footer and return to the document body, press Alt+J, H, C.

Add a date to the header or footer

  1. Do one of the following:

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

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

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

  2. To insert a date, press Alt+N, D. The Date and Time dialog box opens.

  3. Use the Down arrow key to move through the list of available 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 the other options in the dialog box.

  4. In the language menu, press the Down arrow key to review the installed languages if necessary. Press the Tab key to select a language and move to the next option.

  5. You hear: "Update automatically checkbox unchecked." If you want the date and time to be automatically updated, press Spacebar.

  6. Press the Tab key. You hear: "Set as default." If you want to use the current date and time setting as default, press Spacebar. In the confirmation dialog box, press the Tab key until you hear "Yes," and then press Enter.

  7. Press the Tab key until you reach the OK button, and then press Enter.

  8. To exit the header or footer and return to the document body, press Alt+J, H, C.

Access the Header & Footer ribbon

From the Header & Footer ribbon you can, for example, add a header or footer image or adjust the header or footer position in the document.

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

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

  3. Press the Tab key to move through the buttons in the Header & Footer ribbon.

  4. Press Enter to select a button, or press Spacebar to select a checkbox.

  5. To exit the Header & Footer ribbon and return to the document body, press Alt+J, H, C.

Remove a header or footer

  1. Do one of the following:

    • To remove a header, press Alt+N, H, R.

    • To remove a footer, press Alt+N, O, R.

    The header or footer is removed. The focus returns to the document body.

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 in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

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

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in macOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide.

In this topic

Create headers or footers

  1. In a Word document, press F6 until you hear the currently selected tab, for example, "Home, selected, tab." Press Control+Option+Right or Left arrow key until you hear "Insert tab," and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select the tab.

  2. Press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear "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 Down arrow key 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 moves to the header or footer that you inserted.

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

  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 until you hear the next text area selected.

  8. To exit the header or footer and return to the document body, press Control+Option+Left or Right arrow key until you hear, for example, "Page one content."

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+Option+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.

  4. To exit the header or footer and return to the document body, press Control+Option+Left or Right arrow key until you hear, for example, "Page one content."

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 box with available format options opens. Use the Down arrow key to move through the list of available date and time formats. 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. Press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear: "OK, default, button." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to select the button.

    The date is added to the header or footer, and the focus remains on the Header and Footer area.

  5. To exit the header or footer and return to the document body, press Control+Option+Left or Right arrow key until you hear, for example, "Page one content."

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 you hear: "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 you hear: "Header and Footer, selected, tab." Press the Tab key repeatedly to move to the ribbon.

    The first item on the ribbon is the Header button. 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 the 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, 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 you hear: "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 you hear: "Header and Footer, selected, tab." Press the Tab key repeatedly to move to the ribbon.

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

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Use Word for iOS with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to create a header or footer that contains standard information on all pages in your document, such as page numbers, document title, and company name.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in iOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, visit Apple accessibility.

  • We recommend you read and edit documents in Print Layout View. VoiceOver might not work reliably in other view modes.

In this topic

Create a header or footer

  1. Tap near the top of the screen with four fingers, swipe right until you hear "Show ribbon," and double-tap the screen. You hear the currently selected tab, for example, "Home, tab."

  2. Double-tap the screen. The tab menu opens.

  3. Swipe left or right until you hear "Insert, tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. In the Insert tab, swipe right until you hear "Header and footer, button," and then double-tap the screen. The Header & Footer menu opens, and you hear: "Edit header, button."

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To create a header, double-tap the screen and type the header using the on-screen keyboard.

    • To create a footer, swipe right until you hear "Edit footer, button," and then double-tap the screen. The focus moves to the section footer, and you can type the footer using the on-screen keyboard.

  6. When done, to close the on-screen keyboard and to return to the document body, drag your finger around the center of the screen until you hear the document text, and then double-tap the screen.

Add page numbers to a header or footer

  1. Tap near the top of the screen with four fingers, swipe right until you hear "Show ribbon," and double-tap the screen. You hear the currently selected tab, for example, "Home, tab."

  2. Double-tap the screen, swipe left or right until you hear "Insert, tab," and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Page numbers, button," and double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear the page number option you want, and then double-tap the screen.

  5. The header and footer pane opens with the on-screen keyboard activated. If you want to edit the page number, type the new page number.

  6. When done, to close the on-screen keyboard and to return to the document body, drag your finger around the center of the screen until you hear the document text, and then double-tap the screen.

Remove a header or footer

  1. Tap near the top of the screen with four fingers, swipe right until you hear "Show ribbon," and double-tap the screen. You hear the currently selected tab, for example, "Home, tab."

  2. Double-tap the screen, swipe left or right until you hear "Insert, tab," and double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear "Header and footer, button," and double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear "Remove header, button” or “Remove footer, button," and double-tap the screen. The header or footer is removed.

  5. To return to the document body, drag your finger around the center of the screen until you hear the document text, and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to align text and paragraphs in Word

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Use Word for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to create a header or footer that contains standard information on all pages in your document, such as page numbers, document title, and company name.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

In this topic

Create a header or footer

  1. In your document, in the Editing view, move to the document section where you want to add the header or footer.

  2. If needed, to close the keyboard and go to the ribbon, swipe right until you hear "Not checked, more options, switch," and then double-tap the screen. The Home tab opens, and you hear: "Tab menu, Home selected."

  3. To go to the Insert tab, double-tap the screen, and then swipe right until you hear: "Insert tab." Double-tap the screen.

  4. In the Insert tab, swipe right until you hear "Header and footer, button," and then double-tap the screen. The Header & Footer menu opens, and the focus moves to the section header.

  5. Do one of the following:

    • To create a header, type the header using the on-screen keyboard.

      Tip: If needed, to open the keyboard, swipe right until you hear "Checked, more options, switch," and then double-tap the screen.

    • To create a footer, swipe right until you hear "Footer, section," followed by the section number, and then double-tap the screen. The focus moves to the section footer, and you can type the footer using the on-screen keyboard.

  6. When done, swipe down-then-left to close the on-screen keyboard. To return to the document body, swipe left or right until you hear the document text, and then double-tap the screen.

Add page numbers to a header or footer

  1. In your document, in the Editing view, move to the document section where you want to add the page number to the header or footer.

  2. If needed, to close the keyboard and go to the ribbon, swipe right until you hear "Not checked, more options, switch," and then double-tap the screen. The Home tab opens, and you hear: "Tab menu, Home selected."

  3. To go to the Insert tab, double-tap the screen, and then swipe right until you hear: "Insert tab." Double-tap the screen.

  4. In the Insert tab, swipe right until you hear "Header and footer, button," and then double-tap the screen. The focus moves to the section header.

  5. To access the Header & Footer menu, swipe down-then-left to close the on-screen keyboard, slide one finger at the lower-right corner of the screen until you hear "Not checked, More options, switch," and double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe right until you hear "Page number menu," and then double-tap the screen. The Page Number menu opens.

  7. To add the page number, swipe right until you hear the page number location you want, and then double-tap the screen to select it. The page number is added to the section header or footer.

    Tip: To delete the page numbers, in the Page Number menu, swipe right until you hear "Remove page numbers, button," and then double-tap the screen.

  8. To customize the page numbers, swipe right until you hear "Number format, combo box," followed by the current selected format, and then double-tap the screen. The Number format menu opens. Swipe right to move through the options. As you move, TalkBack announces the options for you. When on the option you want, double-tap the screen. To go back to the Page Number menu, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen.

  9. To go back to the Header & Footer menu, swipe left until you hear "Back button," and double-tap the screen.

  10. To close the Header & Footer menu, and return to the document body, swipe right until you hear "Close header and footer button," and then double-tap the screen.

Remove a header or footer

  1. In your document, in the Editing view, move to the document section where you want to remove the header or footer.

  2. If needed, to close the keyboard and go to the ribbon, swipe right until you hear "Not checked, more options, switch," and then double-tap the screen. The Home tab opens, and you hear: "Tab menu, Home selected."

  3. To go to the Insert tab, double-tap the screen, and then swipe right until you hear: "Insert tab." Double-tap the screen.

  4. In the Insert tab, swipe right until you hear "Header and footer, button," and then double-tap the screen. The focus moves to the section header.

  5. To access the Header & Footer menu, swipe down-then-left to close the on-screen keyboard, slide one finger at the lower-right corner of the screen until you hear "Not checked, More options, switch," and double-tap the screen.

  6. In the Header & Footer menu, do one of the following:

    • To remove the header, swipe right until you hear "Header menu," and then double-tap the screen. The Header menu opens. Then, swipe right until you hear "Remove header, button," and double-tap the screen.

    • To remove the footer, swipe right until you hear "Footer menu," and then double-tap the screen. The Footer menu opens. Then, swipe right until you hear "Remove footer, button," and double-tap the screen.

    The header or footer is removed, and the focus moves to the Header & Footer menu.

  7. To close the Header & Footer menu and return to the document body, swipe right until you hear "Close header and footer button," and then double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to align text and paragraphs in Word

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Use Word for the web with your keyboard and a screen reader to create a header or footer that contains standard information on all pages in your document, such as page numbers, document title, company name, author, and date. We have tested it with Narrator in Microsoft Edge and JAWS and NVDA in Chrome, but it might work with other screen readers and web browsers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

Notes: 

  • If you use Narrator with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you have to turn off scan mode in order to edit documents, spreadsheets, or presentations with Office for the web. For more information, refer to Turn off virtual or browse mode in screen readers in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • When you use Word for the web, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because Word for the web runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not Word for the web.

  • When you use Word for the web with a screen reader, switch to the full screen mode. Press F11 to toggle the full screen mode on and off.

In this topic

Add a header or footer

  1. Press Alt+Windows logo key, N, H. The header and footer editing area opens.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To create a left-aligned header, start typing.

    • To create a centered header, press the Tab key once and type your text.

    • To create a right-aligned header, press the Tab key until you hear "Column three," and then type your text.

    • To access header options, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear: “Header toolbar, Options button.” To browse the available options, press Spacebar, and then use the arrow keys. To apply an option, press Enter.

    • To add a footer, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear “Editing default footer,” and then type the footer text.

  3. To exit the header and footer area and return to the document body, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear “Close header and footer button,” and then press Enter.

Add a page number to a header or footer

  1. Press Alt+Windows logo key, N, N, U. The Page numbers menu opens.

  2. Use the arrow keys to move through the list of possible page locations for the page number. Press Enter or Spacebar to select the location you want. Word opens the header or footer in the location you selected.

  3. To exit the header and footer area and return to the document body, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Close header and footer button," and then press Enter.

See also

Use a screen reader to align text and paragraphs in Word

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

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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