Mathcad A-Z: H is for Headers (and Footers)

One of Mathcad’s major features is its self-documenting capabilities. You can use Mathcad to solve engineering problems, then document them at the same time, so the results can be shared and clearly understood by others. You can distribute Mathcad worksheets to auditors and other verification agencies, to clearly show how you got your results, using Mathcad’s real math notation. Worksheets can be shared with colleagues, vendors, and outside agencies through direct sharing, or printing to PDF and XPS (Mathcad Prime).

A header may be the first thing a reader sees when he or she first opens your worksheet, since western readers tend to read from left to right and top down.

Best Practices for Headers

  1. Use headers to categorize a worksheet: content, version, author, project, part, and other critical identification.
  2. Include fields for revision history, verified by, and other tracking information.
  3. Include page numbers so users can find their place, and for easy reference to the worksheet in other documents.
  4. Keep the header look clean and minimal, so the content is easily scanned.
  5. Text should be brief and clear, since most readers of electronic content do more scanning then reading.

Headers in Earlier Versions of Mathcad

In previous versions of Mathcad, such as Mathcad 15, headers and footers were viewed and edited in separate dialogs.

To see the effects of adding headers or footers, you needed to look at the print preview.

Images weren’t displayed in headers; instead, a placeholder “{image}” was visible.

If your text is wider than the dialog, you can’t set up the header while you edit it. You must check the header in Print Preview until you get what you want.

Mathcad Prime 1.0 New Headers

Mathcad Prime 1.0 does not need a Print Preview feature, because the default view is a direct page print view.

To open up the header or footer area in Mathcad Prime 1.0, just double-click on the area at the top of the worksheet.

The header area opens up, and you see text and images as you work with them.


To return back to the main worksheet area, just double-click in the main area. Headers and footers will still appear correctly! To return to editing the header or footer, just double-click in one of them or choose Header or Footer from the Document tab.

Helpful Tips

  1. If you arrow down from a header region, you’ll land in the footer below. Likewise you can arrow up from a footer directly to the header above.
  2. You can make changes in any header or footer in the worksheet, which will be repeated on all pages. If you don’t see the change right away, just press F5 to recalculate.
  3. Revise the size of headers and footers by adjusting the margins of the worksheet.
  4. Choose Show Grid under the document tab, and you will see a fine grid in the header/footer areas that you can use for arranging your content.
  5. Insert images into your headers by browsing for them or using copy and paste.
  6. You can resize the images by the resize handle on the bottom and right edges. You can only see headers and footers in Page View, not in Draft View, so switch to Page View from the icon in the bottom right corner of the worksheet or by choosing Page from the Document tab.

A Mathcad Prime worksheet with a sample header is attached to this article in the Mathcad Community.