Using a Formula in a Footer

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 13, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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Skye has three cells on a worksheet that are important. One cell contains a start date, the second contains an ending date, and the third contains a total for the transactions between those dates. He would like to have a footer for the printed page that incorporates these three pieces of data, dynamically. He wonders if there is a way to get a formula into the footer so it can reflect these values.

There is no built-in way to do this in Excel because formulas cannot be entered into footers; they aren't recognized as formulas by the program. You can, however, use a macro to set your footer. Let's assume, for the sake of this approach, that your start date is contained in cell E1, your ending date is in cell E2, and your total of transactions are in cell E3. In that case, you could use a macro like this:

Private Sub Workbook_BeforePrint(Cancel As Boolean)
    Dim sTemp As String

    With Worksheets("Sheet1")
        ' Set wording for date range
        sTemp = .Range("E1").Text & " through " & .Range("E2").Text
        sTemp = sTemp & " (" & .Range("E3").Text & ")"
        .PageSetup.CenterFooter = sTemp
    End With
End Sub

There are a few things to note in this macro. First of all, the macro only sets the footer information in the worksheet named Sheet1, though you can change this worksheet name to whatever you need. Second, notice that the .Text property is used instead of the .Value property. There are actually three ways you could reference the cell contents, as shown here:

sTemp = Worksheets("Sheet1").Range("E1")
sTemp = Worksheets("Sheet1").Range("E1").Value
sTemp = Worksheets("Sheet1").Range("E1").Text

The first two approaches are equivalent; they set sTemp equal to the contents of the cell. The third approach is different; it sets sTemp equal to the formatted text of the cell. In other words, sTemp will be equal to whatever is in cell E1, as it is formatted in the cell. Since you are working with dates and sums, this is the approach you want to use, so it is what was used in the macro.

Third, the macro ends up setting up the footer in the sTemp variable. As written, the macro would create a footer that looked similar to this:

1 Jul 2022 through 15 Jul 2022 ($1,234.56)

Again, the actual appearance depends on the formatting in cells E1, E2, and E3. The macro adds the word "through" and puts parentheses around the sum of transactions. You can modify these additional elements directly within the macro.

Fourth, the macro assigns the formatted sTemp string (your footer) to the center position in the page footer for the worksheet. If you prefer for the footer to be elsewhere, you can simply change the .CenterFooter property to either .LeftFooter or .RightFooter.

Finally, you need to be aware that this macro is designed to be added to the ThisWorkbook module. It is run, automatically, just before the workbook is printed. It is not triggered, however, by looking at the worksheet in Print Preview, so you can't count on what you may see before you actually print.

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 (559) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

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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What is nine minus 3?

2022-09-04 16:06:59

J. Woolley

My Excel Toolbox includes the following function to put Text in a worksheet's headers or footers, which makes them dynamic instead of static:
=SetHeaderFooter(H_F,L_C_R,Text,[FirstPage],[EvenPages],[Target])
The first character of H_F must be H for header or F for footer (alphabetic case ignored).
The first character of L_C_R must be L for left or C for center or R for right (case ignored).
Text must NOT directly reference a volatile function, but indirect reference is OK. Ampersand (&) followed by P, N, D, T, Z, F, or A (case ignored) represents Page, Pages, Date, Time, Path, File, or Tab; otherwise, ampersand (&) will be doubled (&&). The first 255 characters of Text apply.
FirstPage default is FALSE; if TRUE and NOT EvenPages and 'Different first page' (manual), first page header/footer applies.
EvenPages default is FALSE; if TRUE and NOT FirstPage and 'Different odd and even pages' (manual), even pages header/footer applies.
Target identifies the target worksheet. It can be a cell or range on any worksheet in an open workbook; if omitted, the formula's worksheet is assumed.
The function returns text indicating the result or #VALUE!... indicating invalid argument(s). Avoid multiple formulas referring to the same header/footer.
Here is a cell formula for the Tip's example:
=SetHeaderFooter("foot","center",E1&" through "&E2&" ("&E3&")")
See https://sites.google.com/view/MyExcelToolbox


2022-08-13 11:28:13

Brian Lair

Very helpful tip! I especially found the .Value vs. .Text info enlightening. Cheers!


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