Microsoft KB Archive/103737

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Excel: Header/Footer Printed But Not Visible in Page Setup

Last reviewed: September 12, 1996
Article ID: Q103737

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel for Windows, versions 4.0, 4.0a


When you print a document in Microsoft Excel version 4.0, a header or footer may be printed even if no header or footer appears in the Page Setup dialog box.

This behavior may occur when one of the following conditions is true:

  • The text of the header or footer is preceded by several blank lines. This text string may not be visible in the Header or Footer dialog box until you use the scroll bar to scroll to the editable area. -or-
  • In Windows Control Panel, the Windows background is set to Black. -or-
  • Your computer has a faulty math coprocessor.

Note that in Microsoft Excel version 5.0, this behavior may occur if this last condition is true, but will not occur if either of the first two conditions are true. Under the first two conditions, text appears in the Header or Footer preview window in the Page Setup dialog box.


The header and/or footer will not be printed if you delete the contents of the text entry box in the Header or Footer dialog box. To delete the contents of a particular text entry box, do the following:

  1. In the Header or Footer dialog box, press ALT+L, ALT+C, or ALT+R to select the entire contents of the Left, Center, or Right text entry box.
  2. Press the DELETE key or the BACKSPACE key to clear the box.


Header or Footer Contains Blank Lines

In Microsoft Excel version 4.0, headers and footers can contain multiple lines. Therefore, your header or footer may contain several blank lines followed by a line containing visible information. Since the text entry boxes in the Header and Footer dialog boxes can only display a limited amount of information, you may have to scroll through the boxes to see the visible information. You can then delete the blank rows of information or clear the box and re-enter your information, as described in the "Workaround" section of this article.

Window Color Is Set to Black

If you use the Windows control panel to change the color of the Windows background to black, you will not be able to see any information in the Header or Footer dialog boxes. The text is not visible because it is displayed in the text boxes in black (even if you change the Window Text to some other color).


To change the window background color to anything other than black, do the following:

  1. Start Windows Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Color icon to open the Color dialog box.
  3. Choose the Color Palette button to display the color palette.

At this point you can select the Windows Default option and choose OK, or you can continue steps 4-6 to create a new color scheme.

  1. From the Screen Element list, select Window Background.
  2. Select any color EXCEPT black.
  3. Choose OK to accept the new color.

Faulty Math Coprocessor

If you have a faulty math coprocessor installed on your computer, the text in the header or footer may be automatically resized to 400 points. And, although 400-point text is too large to be displayed in the dialog box, it will appear in the printed version of the document.

Note that in Microsoft Excel version 5.0, if text in the header or footer is formatted for 400 points, the text does not display in the Header or Footer preview window, however, the text does appear in the Header or Footer list.


"User's Guide 1," version 4.0, pages 535, 537

KBCategory: kbprint


Additional reference words: 4.00 4.00a PAGE.SETUP printer vga svga

Last reviewed: September 12, 1996
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