Have you tried to type an ampersand (&) in a header or footer in Excel and seen it disappear on your printed worksheet? There’s a special trick to typing ampersands in headers and footers in Excel so you don’t lose them.

For example, a company with an ampersand in their name–like our fictional “Smith & Jones” law firm–may want to put their name in the header. However, the ampersand is used in Excel headers and footers as a “marker” that indicates a special formatting code follows. We’ll show you the trick to including an ampersand in your header or footer text.

To add a header or footer to your workbook, click the “Page Layout” tab.

In the “Page Setup” section, click the “Page Setup” button in the lower-right corner.

The “Page Setup” dialog box displays. Click the “Header/Footer” tab.

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There are ready-made headers and footers available, but we want to create a custom header or footer. For our example, we’re going to add a header to our workbook, so click “Custom Header”. This procedure works the same way for custom footers.

In the Header (or Footer) dialog box, enter the text you want to display in the header or footer. You can enter your text in the Left section, Center section, or Right section, depending on where in the header or footer you want the text to display.

Here’s the trick. When you type your ampersand, type two of them, one right after the other, as shown in the following image. In our case, that means typing “Smith && Jones”.

Then, click “OK”.

You are returned to the Page Setup dialog box. Notice that the header text displays in the sample header with one ampersand. Click “OK”. Your header or footer will now display one ampersand when you print the worksheet or workbook.

In addition to this trick for typing ampersands into headers and footers in Excel, you can also insert Page X of Y into a header or footer and make the header and footer different on the first page on an Excel spreadsheet.

Profile Photo for Lori Kaufman Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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