Using a Formula in a Footer

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 19, 2016)

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 Mar 2016 through 15 Mar 2016 ($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 desgined 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.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (559) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Printing Shortcut Key Assignments

Shortcut keys are great timesavers when you don't want to remove your hands from the keyboard to mess with the mouse. ...

Discover More

Using MPF Graphic Files

There are all sorts of file formats used to store graphics. You might think that one of those formats is the MPF format, ...

Discover More

Pasting Excel Data within Word's Page Margins

The programs in the Microsoft Office suite are designed to work with each other easily. Sometimes there can be hiccups ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Dynamic Headers and Footers

Do you want to change the headers and footers that appear on different pages of your printout? Here's how you can get ...

Discover More

First and Last Names in a Page Header

When you have a worksheet that includes a long list of names, you may want the first and last names on each page to ...

Discover More

Adding Ampersands in Headers and Footers

Add an ampersand to the text in a header or footer and you may be surprised that the ampersand disappears on your ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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 four minus 0?

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 ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

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.