How to Add Document Properties to a Header or Footer in Microsoft Word

688831 How to Add Document Properties to a Header or Footer in Microsoft Word

Adding document properties to the header or footer of a Word document can help organize and identify files. Properties like the file name, date, author, and other details serve as metadata that describes the document’s contents.

What are Document Properties?

Document properties, also known as metadata, provide details about a file to describe or identify it. Some examples include:

  • Title – The name given to the document
  • Author – The creator of the document
  • Subject – A summary of what the document is about
  • Keywords – Related terms and topics associated with the contents

These properties help categorize documents so you can search for and organize files easier.

Why Add Properties to the Header or Footer?

Displaying properties directly in the header or footer of a document makes them readily visible. This allows you to easily see key details at a glance when scrolling through a lengthy file.

Some other benefits include:

  • Organization – Identifying files is easier when skimming the header or footer for metadata.
  • Context – Readers unfamiliar with a document can quickly discern details about it.
  • Printouts – Properties like file name and path help identify printed copies.

How to Add Document Properties

Adding properties to headers and footers in Word is straightforward. Here are the steps:

1. Open the Header or Footer

First, open the header or footer you want to add a property to:

  • Click the Insert tab > Header & Footer group > Header/Footer
  • Select Edit Header or Edit Footer

2. Insert the Document Property

Next, click the property you want to add:

  • Click the Insert tab > Text group > Quick Parts > Document Property
  • Choose the property from the list

Alternatively, click Quick Parts > Field to insert common properties like file name, date, author, or title.

Insert document property

3. Format the Property (Optional)

Some document properties can be formatted to customize the display. After inserting the property, use the Field Properties and Field Options to tweak the formatting.

For example, you can:

  • Display the file path along with file name
  • Choose date format (MM/DD/YYYY, DD/MM/YYYY, etc.)
  • Show author’s first or last name only

4. Close the Header or Footer

Finally, close the header or footer to save the changes by clicking the Close Header and Footer button or pressing Esc on the keyboard.

The property now displays in the header or footer of every page.

Tips for Using Document Properties

Here are some additional pointers for working with properties in Word headers and footers:

  • Double-click the header or footer to edit properties later on
  • Update blank properties under File > Info > Show All Properties
  • Press F9 to refresh the property if information changes
  • Use styles like bold, italic, underline etc. to format properties
  • Add multiple properties to organize extensive documents

Creating Custom Properties

Beyond the standard options, you can also create custom document properties to track additional metadata.

To add a custom property:

  1. Navigate to the File tab > Info
  2. Click Show All Properties > Advanced Properties
  3. In the Custom tab enter a name and value for your custom property
  4. Click Add to save the new custom property
  5. Insert into header or footer using Quick Parts > Document Property

Best Practices

When adding properties to headers and footers, follow these guidelines:

  • Be consistent – Use the same properties across similar documents
  • Be concise – Keep property names clear and succinct
  • Be selective – Only include relevant, identifying properties
  • Be accurate – Proofread custom properties before adding them

The right balance of document properties in headers and footers can help make your Word files more organized and easier to work with.

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