Monthly Archives: April 2009

Long Footers in Excel: Trouble in Paradise?

I was working on a long spreadsheet the other day. It was destined to become a PDF with nice formatting which would live on the web. I set it up to be formatted as a table, repeated the top row on each page, and set margins. All smooth sailing until I tried to add a disclaimer at the bottom of each page.

Apparently footers in Excel don’t depend on the amount of space they take up. I kind of expected that you could have as much text as you want as long as it fit within the footer space. My plan was to pop the text in there and drop the font size to 8 or 9. Unfortunately Excel has a 255 character (including spaces and formatting characters!) limit for headers and footers. Why? I don’t know.

There is a way to work around this limit. I pasted the text into Word, changed the page orientation to landscape, hit enter 5 or 6 times, then hit Alt-PrintScreen. This captured an image of the document to my computer’s clipboard. I hit enter a few times so my screen capture wouldn’t have the Word insertion point cursor right next to the text. I pasted the screen shot into an image editor and cropped out the excess. In the Excel footer dialog, I inserted my image, which was paradoxically bigger than the text I wanted to display.

Works fine, but kind of annoying!